Photo: Enos Masini, (in a grey suit and a tie) head of Kenya’s National Tuberculosis Leprosy and Lung Disease Programme, speaking during an event to mark the 2017 World TB Day in Kiambu Town, Central Kenya. Credit: Justus Wanzala - Photo: 2021

15-Year-Old Girl Among Latest Fiji Covid Deaths as Virus Cases Soar Over 11,000

By Josefa Babitu*

SUVA (IDN) — A 15-year-old girl has become Fiji’s youngest death due to the covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, taking the total of deaths due to the virus to 58.

Health Secretary Dr James Fong has confirmed this after an investigation by medical personnel classified the case as another covid-19 death.

The girl from Colo-I-Suva was declared dead on arrival by the attending medical officer at the Raiwaqa Health Centre last week.

“This means that she either died at home or on her way to the health facility. Her family reported that she had been feeling unwell for two days,” Dr Fong said.

“Her symptoms included cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

“She was not vaccinated—she was not in the target population of people 18 years and over that are eligible to receive the vaccine.”

Her case was announced along with two other covid-19 deaths in the past day.

“The first covid-19 death we are reporting today is a 56-year-old woman from Vatuwaqa who died at home.

“The second covid-19 death was an 87-year-old woman from Nasinu. She presented to the FEMAT field hospital in severe respiratory distress. Her condition worsened at the FEMAT field hospital and she died two days after admission.

Both these patients were not vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, donated by New Zealand and Australia, which the Health Ministry is administering to all eligible people around the country.

This brings the total deaths due to the virus to 58, with 56 of these deaths coming during the outbreak that started in April this year.

Separately, there have been 26 covid-19 positive patients who died from serious medical conditions that they had before they contracted the virus. These cases are not classified by the ministry as covid-19 deaths.

A total of 9310 people are battling the delta variant of the virus in the country after it recorded a new daily high record of 873 cases ending at 8 am today while 132 recoveries were made.

“The 7-day average of new cases per day is 696 cases per day or 787 cases per million population per day.

With daily increases in cases, the ministry has seen an increase in severe cases of covid-19 and increasing deaths.

The ministry has vaccinated 353,355 adults with their first dose of the vaccine and 66,643 have received their second doses as of July 11.

Percentage-wise, this means that 60.2 percent of the target population have received at least one dose and 11.4 percent are now fully vaccinated nationwide.

“With increasing daily cases, hospitalisations, and deaths, we are asking all Fijians to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Fiji’s covid-19 cases stand at 11,385 with only 1991 recoveries since March last year. [IDN-InDepthNews – 14 July 2021]

* Josefa Babitu is a final-year student journalist at the University of the South Pacific (USP). He is also the current student editor for Wansolwara, USP Journalism’s student training newspaper and online publication. He is a contributor to Asia Pacific Report, which first carried this report.

Photo: Fiji’s Health Secretary Dr James Fong. Credit: Fiji govt/Fiji Times/File

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