Fiji has recorded 16 more COVID-19 deaths and 187 new cases in the 24 hour period ending at 8am yesterday.
Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says the increasing deaths, including the death of a 21-year-old person announced in the latest update, is a sad reminder of the ongoing toll this virus has taken on individuals and our community.
Dr. Fong says they know Omicron is less likely to cause severe disease than other variants, meaning most people who get infected will recover well at home without the need for medical intervention.
However, Dr. Fong has also stressed that people who are over the age of 50 or have significant chronic illnesses, still have a higher risk of severe disease.
The PS for Health also explains that sadly, when cases in the community are very high, rare events also occur, such as severe illness and deaths in the young without significant chronic illness.
He says this situation was seen during the second wave and they are now beginning to see it in the third wave.
Dr. Fong is urging everyone to take heed of the advice on how to prevent themselves and others from getting infected and developing severe disease.
He adds that Fiji’s high vaccination rates will also continue to provide protection against severe disease.