Fiji

Fijians to expect Category 1 Tropical Cyclone tomorrow

Fiji Meteorological Services Acting Director, Terry Atalifo confirmed that the Tropical Disturbance has intensified further into a Tropical Depression.

He further said at midday today, TD03F was located about 515 kilometres west of Nadi.

TD03F is moving very slowly and is expected to move east-southeast at about 10 kilometres per hour.

Fiji records 596 new Covid-19 cases

Ministry of Health’s Permanent Secretary, James Fong said 254 cases were recorded in the Central Division, 103 cases were in the Western Division, six cases were reported in the Northern Division, and nine cases are in the Eastern Division.

224 new cases were recorded on Tuesday and 372 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours ending at 8 am yesterday.

The first Covid-19 death to report is of a 75-year-old man from Suva who died at his home last Friday.

Fiji confirms community transmission of Omicron variant

Samples sequenced by the Ministry of Healtth and the Doherty Institute in Melbourne, were determined to be Omicron , the latest COVID-19 variant in circulation around the world.

The Ministry of Health’s Permanent Secretary, Doctor James Fong said Fiji has community transmission of both Omicron and Delta variants throughout the country.

He added that it explains the high number of cases recorded recently given the high transmissibility of the variant.

Health experts are warning it will become the dominant variant.

Surge in Covid-19 cases in Fiji

The Ministry of Health has reported two deaths taking the death toll to 700 since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Both cases had pre-existing medical conditions according to Health Permanent Secretary, Dr James Fong.

He said while both these deaths occurred in individuals who have been immunised with 2 doses of the vaccine, they both had significant underlying medical conditions and were over the age of 50.

He adds it is known that these factors place a person at higher risk of severe disease, even if fully vaccinated.

Covid-19 Fiji: 1 death, 309 new cases amid third wave

This brings the total number of active cases to 780 as health authorities tackle a third wave of the coronavirus outbreak across the country.

The Government also confirmed that out of the latest cases, 115 were recorded on 28 December.

A 62-year-old Covid patient had died at home on Christmas Day. He was fully vaccinated and had suffered severe respiratory distress.

The death toll is now at 698, with 696 of them from the latest outbreak that began in April this year.

Fiji ramps up Covid-19 protocols amid case spike

 From 1 January 2022, travellers to Fiji must now produce a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test taken no more than two calendar days before the scheduled day of departure, the government said on Wednesday.

Prior to this, travellers had to return a negative PCR test 72 hours before leaving for Fiji.

The Health Ministry made changes to its travel protocols overnight as senior officials prepared for a possible third wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

Fiji braces for Covid-19 third wave

Two weeks ago, Fiji was reporting less than 10 cases of the Covid-19.

This week, the Health Ministry has confirmed 208 new cases of Covid-19 in the community with 20 reported on Christmas Day, 109 on Boxing Day and 79 on Monday.

On 24 December, the ministry reported 109 new cases; 40 of them were recorded on 23 December and 69 cases on Christmas Eve.

Fiji reopened its borders to international travellers on 1 December and thousands of tourists have arrived from its partner countries such as New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

Six travelers test positive for Covid-19 in Fiji

The Ministry of Health recorded the cases after the mandatory 3-day hotel stay and testing.

MOH’s Permanent Secretary, Doctor James Fong said in accordance with entry requirements, all cases had tested negative in the 72 hours before departure and are fully vaccinated.

Dr Fong added that all the cases are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms and have been isolated within hotels with protocols that have been established in the lead-up to border opening.

He said the positive samples will be sent to the partner laboratory in Australia for genomic sequencing.

Fijians urged to take Omicron variant seriously

Fiji reported two cases of the variant two weeks ago - both patients had arrived in the country from Nigeria on 25 November.

Health Secretary James Fong said more than 70 countries had reported cases of Omicron and it was probably in most countries, even if it hadn't been detected yet.

He said if there was an outbreak in Fiji, it could again overwhelm the health system.

Dr Fong said vaccines alone would not get any country out of the crisis, and that nations must prevent the spread of Omicron with mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing.

Air NZ resumes flights to Nadi

Air NZ's first commercial flight to Fiji amid the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in Nadi last week.

Chris Chand, of Fiji Airports, said the flight from Auckland carried repatriated Fijians and tourists.

With New Zealand's borders closed to Fiji, customer loads have been understandably quite low, the airline said in a statement.

"We have been operating one return Nadi flight per week through the pandemic which has been mostly cargo into Nadi," he said.