Permanent Secretary for Health has stated that if community transmissions of COVID-19 are high, rare outcomes will be more visible.
Doctor James Fong’s comments come following the death of a 21-year-old COVID-positive patient who did not have any comorbidities.
Fiji was hit by the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-December and Dr. Fong says since then, 52 people have died.
“50 died either at home, on the way to a health facility, or on arrival at the health facility. The other 2 died within 24 hours of arrival at the health facility. 45 had significant co-morbidities. Of the 7 with no co-morbidity, 6 were 60 to 92 years old and 1 was the 21 years’ old which we reported last night.“
Doctor Fong has also stated that it is difficult to determine which patient died from the Delta variant and which one died from the Omicron variant.
“One can make guesses at a clinical level but even then it’s extremely difficult because as I mention a lot of these people have died with severe co-morbidities and many have died have died even before spending a few days in the hospital before properly investigated.”
Meanwhile, the WHO is optimistic that we now have the tools to mitigate the spread of the Omicron variant.
Health experts have been preaching that in order to live with the virus and control its adverse effects, we need to live by the Vaccine Plus Approach, adding that vaccination on its own is not enough for our protection.