The world is in a challenging time at the moment and in the last seven days there has been an almost 30 percent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Western Pacific and Fiji is part of it.
World Health Organization says they have seen a 10 percent increase in the number of deaths in the Western Pacific which is a worrying situation.
Fiji has recorded 123 deaths since April and 51 COVID-19 positive patients died from serious medical conditions.
World Health Organisation’s Technical Lead, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove says we are moving further away from the end of the pandemic.
“It doesn’t end when you get the vaccine. While we know the vaccines are highly effective against severe disease and deaths, we don’t have the full picture in terms of infection and transmission. So, people who are vaccinated can be infected and they can pass the virus to others”.
There has been massive spikes in transmission in island countries that were dependent on tourism.
“Part of this is fueled by new variants of concern but it is also so difficult to maintain the public health and social measures. I will say again that public health measures do not mean lockdown, it’s a combination of factors”.
Dr Mike Ryan says the real pathway out of the pandemic is to get vulnerable populations vaccinated which will reduce the burden on the health systems.
He adds some governments have to make choices that are not driven by the epidemiologic situation as they try to balance social and economic stability.