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Fiji Covid-19: 89 new cases, govt says situation worse than Australia, NZ

Monday 14 June 2021 | Written by RNZ | Published in Fiji, Regional

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Fiji Covid-19: 89 new cases, govt says situation worse than Australia, NZ
Points in and out of Suva are blocked by police. Photo: Fiji police

Fiji's Covid-19 outbreak, fuelled by the Delta Variant which ravaged India's public health system earlier this year, is now worse than Australia and New Zealand, health authorities warned.

While announcing another 89 new cases of the virus on Monday night, Fiji's Health Ministry confirmed its staff are tired and some working at the country's main hospital have been infected.

The Fiji Government is now seeking Australia's help to deploy a planning team from its Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT) programme to the capital Suva.

Fijian Health Secretary James Fong said the AUSMAT team would help the ministry plan for the worst.

"The Australians will provide for contingency beyond our current surge preparations.

"We have extra space to deploy for field hospitals and we have extra critical care capacity we have yet to activate. They come to help us plan beyond that," he said.

Dr Fong said discussions with Canberra were now advanced and he expected the Australian team to arrive in Fiji soon.

Head of Health Protection and Fiji's Centre for Disease Control, Aalisha SahuKhan said their case count per day was now higher than what both Australia and New Zealand have had.

"So we are now at about 60 cases per day and if you're looking at our population, that's about 68 per million population which is a high number.

"To put that in context, neither Australia nor New Zealand got to this level of cases per day."

Fiji now has 860 people with the coronavirus, with 23 patients recovered.

There were a total of 1,048 cases reported on Sunday since the outbreak started in April and with yesterday's cases, the tally should have been 1037.

However, the ministry said a duplicate entry in Sunday's case count means there have been 1036 cases of Covid-19.

Four people have died from the virus since 2020 while seven people who had covid at the CWMH and died have had their deaths attributed to other illnesses and not covid-related.