11-month infant dies of COVID-19

Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong. Picture: FIJIAN GOVT

An 11-month-old infant is Fiji’s youngest victim to have died from COVID-19.

Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong announced this last night after the country in the past 24 hours recorded 1163 new cases and another six deaths due to COVID-19.

He said severe disease and death due to COVID-19 among infants were rare.

However, he said the doctors overseeing this baby’s care confirm that he did die because of COVID-19.

“And we know that once a very high level of infection is reached in the community, these rare events do occur,” he said.

“It is an absolute tragedy when the most vulnerable in our community, our babies, become victims of this awful disease.

“It is why we at the ministry are following the science and advice of WHO very closely with regards to the vaccination of those below the age of 18, and we are making arrangements to import more vaccines once we know that they are proven to offer safe and effective protection for children against the virus.”

Dr Fong also highlighted that among the deaths announced this week was a second nurse who was a frontliner.

He said the nurse was not vaccinated and in line with government policy, she was on leave at the time she became infected.

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