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Fiji prepares for internal border re-opening



Fiji Medical experts reveals that they do not need to wait for the two-week buffer period to re-open containment borders once 60% of the eligible population are fully vaccinated.

Fijian GOV’T

Fiji Medical Association President, Doctor Basharat Munshi says the vaccination threshold is a national guide and should not to be mistaken as scientific data when assessing Fiji’s COVID situation.

Concerns have been raised on the safety of opening containment borders without waiting for the two-week buffer period, to which Dr Munshi replied that our safety can be measured by Fiji’s high vaccination rate.

Fijian Health Minister, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete says by the time the 60 percent threshold is reached, the majority of the target population will be considered fully vaccinated.

The COVID-19 vaccine only takes full effect a fortnight after an individual receives the second jab.

Vaccination data is collected daily, except for Sundays when there is no vaccination.

As of this morning, the full vaccination rate was 1.8 percent below the 60 percent required to lift containment borders and move the curfew to 9 pm.



Covid-19 update: 8544 new cases, 39 further deaths linked to virus



There were 8544 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Aotearoa in the week to midnight on Sunday, and a further 39 deaths attributed to the virus.

The total number of deaths attributed to the virus in New Zealand is now 3077.

In addition, there were 246 cases in hospital at midnight on Sunday with six in intensive care.

The seven-day rolling average of cases was 1217.

Last week, 9883 new Covid-19 cases were reported and a further 37 deaths were attributed to the virus.

Source: RNZ

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Dr Jonathan Howard: why US doctors spread Covid disinformation



An American doctor believes more than 800,000 Americans would be alive today, if the US had taken New Zealand’s Covid approach.

Jonathan Howard, who is the chief of neurology at Bellevue Hospital in New York, said he was angry that influential health professionals minimised the seriousness of the virus.

“We want them infected,” was the call of then presidential science adviser Paul Alexander.

It’s also the title of Howard’s new book, which tells the story of how some medical and public health professionals came to become anti-vaccine and pro herd immunity.

He told Kim Hill on Saturday Morning there was a deluge of mis-information from prominent US doctors, some of whom wanted to actually spread the virus.

“Famous doctors from our top universities went on television and told people that Covid was just going away, that it was just the flu, that young people under the age of 65 have essentially no risk,” he said.

“And not only were there not attempts to limit the virus, these were loud influential voices who wanted to spread it.

“You can read quotes from our former Covid advisor, Donald Trump’s former Covid advisor, celebrating rising cases, saying this is a good thing when cases rise, which is shocking and astonishing.”

While Howard said there were obvious differences between the two countries, many lives could have been saved if the US had taken a similar approach to New Zealand.

“If we had limited infections until we had vaccinated the vast majority of our population, we would have potentially had hundreds of thousands of people still alive today, there’s no question about that.”

However, our zero-Covid strategy wasn’t without its critics, with Stanford professor Jay Bhattacharya writing that it had “cost New Zealand dearly”.

“I think that the fact that most of your grandparents are still alive means that zero Covid did not cost you dearly,” Howard said in response.

“I don’t discount that, there were real costs of the lockdowns, I don’t know anyone who argues otherwise and I want to be very clear that I was protected from those costs, meaning I am very fortunate to be employed, I worked throughout the pandemic, I was never lonely, I don’t have my own business.”

But Howard said he didn’t think that the alternative – letting the virus spread freely – would have yielded a better outcome.

He said that when forklifts were needed to move bodies into giant refrigerated trucks in New York, it was fantasy to imagine the city could have operated as normal during the pandemic.

“You talk about deferred healthcare – every single healthcare worker was working with Covid patients, our hospitals were overflowing,” he said.

“So when I hear people lament they missed cancer screenings, who would have done those screenings? Would elderly patients have left their house to go to crowded waiting rooms to get a mammogram for example? I don’t think so.

“I think that the fantasy is that things could have just been normal if only if it hadn’t been for overly cautious politicians.”

By comparison, New Zealand did well, Howard said.

“I look at the numbers, I look at your death rate with great jealousy.” he said.

“And I think for long periods of time your economy was more open than ours was because we had to keep locking down, just because there were overwhelming outbreaks of the virus.”

Howard said the fact many older New Zealanders were still alive compared with the US statistics, showed the success of this country’s Covid strategy.

Source  RNZ

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Covid-19 case numbers: 11,739 new cases, 58 further deaths



There were 11,739 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Aotearoa in the week to midnight on Sunday, and a further 58 deaths attributed to the virus.

The total number of deaths from the disease is now 2850.

In addition, there were 247 cases in hospital at midnight Sunday, with six in intensive care.

The seven-day rolling average of cases was 1672.

Last week 12,277 new cases were reported and a further 30 deaths attributed to the virus.


Source RNZ

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