One death and a record 116 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Fiji.
The Health Ministry said last night a 73-year-old patient at the country’s main hospital in the capital Suva is the fifth person to die from the virus.
The ministry said 93 of the new cases were linked to existing clusters.
Health Secretary James Fong said three other cases had been identified as primary contacts of earlier cases, and response teams were determining their cluster link.
Thirteen cases are under investigation to determine whether they had links to other cases.
Fong said the person who died had been admitted to the CWM Hospital for almost a month for a severe non-Covid related illness and tested positive for the virus 11 days ago.
“Whilst his prognosis was poor, this death has been classified as a Covid-19 death by the doctors treating him.
“We extend our sincere condolences to the loved ones of the deceased.
“This is the third death during this current outbreak and the fifth Covid-19 death overall for Fiji.”
PM resists calls for lockdown
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama explained why he disagreed with calls for a complete 28-day lockdown of Viti Levu despite the island’s surging Covid outbreak.
Bainimarama said shutting down completely would cripple Fiji economically. He also claimed developing countries had never successfully implemented total lockdowns.
“After 28 days of total lockdown we could still see the virus re-emerge on day 30 or day 35 because of a single, undetected lapse by anyone, anywhere on Viti Levu,” Bainimarama said.
“If we took that route, after we spent nearly 700 hours shut in our homes, Fiji would look vastly and cruelly different when we all re-emerged.
“People’s jobs may never return. We’d suffer structural unemployment through the permanent loss of industries.
“I cannot allow that to happen and I will not.”
• 116 new cases
• 93 linked to existing clusters
• Three cases identified as primary contacts of earlier cases
• 13 cases under investigation to determine link to other cases
• 32 cases have recovered
• 943 active cases now in isolation
• 1252 cases recorded during this outbreak that started in April 2021
• 1322 cases in total recorded in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020
• There have been 367 recoveries and five deaths due to the coronavirus
• A total of seven positive patients have died from pre-existing non-Covid related illnesses
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