By Lice Movono of RNZ
While Fiji's Covid-19 case numbers dropped to 386 yesterday from 404 on Friday, health authorities continue to urge people infected with the virus to get to medical facilities for treatment.
There have been seven deaths reported since Friday.
The Health Ministry pleaded with the public to remain alert to the more severe symptoms of the virus, which could indicate a medical emergency.
Health Secretary James Fong said there was concern about people with severe symptoms arriving at a medical facility in the later stages of their illness.
"And we are also sadly seeing people with severe disease die at home or on the way to hospital before our medical teams have a chance to administer what could potentially be life-saving treatment."
In the past week alone there were 12 deaths, at least two of them dead-on-arrival or dying on the same day.
Fong said of the 25 deaths since the Delta variant outbreak began in Fiji in mid-April, there were five deaths of people who did not receive medical treatment.
"During this outbreak, tragically three deaths have occurred before our medical teams had the opportunity to offer treatment.
"One patient died at home. Two others were declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
"It is possible for the virus to take hold very quickly and for symptoms to appear and escalate in a matter of hours.
"But often, the timeline is more gradual, as symptoms become visible well before severe disease develops - often many days before.
"So I am urging members of the public, if you feel any flu-like symptoms or you know someone who is experiencing any flu-like symptoms, please visit your nearest screening clinic, now."
Of the cases reported up until 8am on Saturday, five were already in quarantine facilities in Nadi while 381 cases had been from the central division towns of Lami, Nasinu, Nausori and the capital Suva.
The ministry is investigating the deaths of three others who tested positive to determine if Covid-19 caused or accelerated death.
There have been 27 Covid-19 deaths in Fiji and another 12 positive patients have died from other serious medical conditions that they had before they contracted the virus.
Covid-19 alleged breach: Police await clearance
Police will await medical clearance before investigating the alleged breach of Covid-19 restrictions by a group of residents who organised a birthday party attended by individuals outside their household.
Acting police chief Rusiate Tudravu said the group in Lautoka would have to be medically cleared before investigations start. Two people who attended the event have tested positive for Covid-19.
He said people needed to take ownership of their actions as cases continued to rise on the main island of Viti Levu.
"Everyone is aware of the situation that we are in, cases are rising and people have died from this virus," Tudravu said.
"The fact that people continue to gamble with their health and display no sense of care or love for their fellow Fijians is really concerning.
"These measures were not pulled out of thin air but have been medically proven to work as an effective means of stopping the spread of the virus.
"Some people have to get out of having the mindset of living life by only doing the right thing when police are present, as this is a situation that could prove costly to one's life if taken lightly."
Meanwhile, the Lautoka Ratepayers and Residents Association said they were concerned about the public's lack of adherence to Covid restrictions.
Fiji's daily positivity rate is now double the 5 per cent rate the World Health Organisation considers indicative of an out-of-control pandemic.
However, 15,898 Fijians (54 per cent of the target population) have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 51,408 (8.8 per cent) have received their second doses.
There are now 4496 Covid-19 positive people in isolation and 27 deaths since March 2020.