We recorded another 22 cases as of this morning. One new case has not yet been linked to other cases or clusters and is currently under investigation. The individual is from Caubati and was swabbed at the Valelevu stationary screening clinic after presenting with symptoms. All the other new cases are linked to existing clusters, including the new CWM Hospital cluster. All of these cases are stable and are either in isolation facilities or home isolation. The new cases are linked to the following communities and clusters:
CWMH cluster – 14
Navosai cluster – 4
Kinoya cluster – 2
Navy cluster – 1
Caubati – 1 (under investigation)
We now have had 495 cases in Fiji since our first case was recorded in March last year, and 425 during the current outbreak that started in April. We currently have 324 active cases.
An update on the vaccination program will be provided in the evening statement.
Screening and Testing Update
Screening and testing are critical tools for detecting cases of COVID and isolating infected persons to prevent further spread. We continue to screen and test people aggressively in areas of known contamination as well as people who are most vulnerable or who are at particular risk of exposure because their occupation puts them into close contact with large numbers of people. Yesterday we screened 5,882 in our stationary screening clinics of which 26% were screened. Our mobile teams screened 10,436 and of which 18.5% were screened.
We want to reassure the public that all the medical and security forces who have turned positive are not part of the public health team directly engaging the public in our containment and community surveillance programs.
Last night we conducted extensive swabbing at CWM Hospital. The testing of those swabs has revealed the 14 new positive cases announced today. Swabbing has continued today and we will be awaiting more results.
We are still in the process of evaluating the data, and the results of testing will determine the best way to secure CWMH while continuing to safely provide medical services to Fijians who access health services at the hospital. Currently, CWMH is still open and providing the services delineated in last night’s update: Non-emergency outpatient services are not available, including the special outpatients department, and the Acute Medical Ward, Acute Surgical Ward, Beqa Ward, and ANZ Ward remain on lockdown.
Emergency services are continuing at CWMH. The Emergency Department is functioning and inpatient pediatrics and obstetrics services are continuing. The Maternity Ward and Children’s Wing have developed stringent screening areas in the Antenatal Clinic area and the Children’s Outpatient Department for patients requiring urgent admission. All access to from other parts of the hospital has been closed off to the Maternity and Children’s Wing. CWM hospital contingency plans for emergency scenarios have been finalised.
I would like to express the Ministry’s appreciation of the private sector, especially those in the hotel and accommodation industry, who stepped forward to assist us during these difficult times.
We could not have had an effective COVID response unless we could ensure the welfare and safety of our own health care workers who were at the centre of the Ministry’s COVID-19 response. Because they are out in the community finding, interviewing and testing people who may have come into contact with an infected person, we have had to isolate them from their families for weeks now. We could not have done that without the support of our hotel industry, which stepped up and provided COVID-safe and affordable accommodation for our staff. It has been a great service to the country.
The management and employees of all hotels and accommodation facilities where our staff are staying have done an outstanding job to prepare and maintain facilities that keep our staff safe and, in turn, keep us all safe.