Fiji has faced over 63,000 infections and more than 800 deaths from Covid-19 since the global pandemic began in March 2020. With nearly 70% of the population fully vaccinated against the virus, many thought the crisis was all but over.
After reporting its first COVID-19 case in March 2020, Fiji was largely able to avoid widespread contagion for a whole year. That changed in April 2021, when the contagious Delta variant hit the nation with its first major COVID-19 wave. A second surge in August quickly followed.
Now, almost two years into the pandemic, there is a third Covid-19 surge in the country, driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Now, Fiji’s already struggling healthcare system is in danger of being overwhelmed.
Fiji’s Third Covid-19 Surge
After two Covid waves in April 2021 and August 2021, Fiji is facing a third covid-19 surge. Dr. James Fong, Fiji’s top health official, said the government is reviewing its containment policy to fight this surge, but it may still be too little, too late.
Fiji is also facing the fallout of cyclone Cody, which caused major flood damage and landslides. Over 148 evacuation centers were opened to house people displaced by the destruction, increasing the likelihood of community transmission of the disease.
This is putting a huge strain on hospitals in Fiji. They face many challenges to caring for COVID-19 patients and patients with other issues. Last year, for example, hospital patients and staff went without food after kitchen staff came down with the virus. This could happen again.
Schools in Fiji have been closed since April 2021, causing a huge disruption to students’ education and to the lives of their families. Schools around the country reopened last week, despite the surge, making it much harder for students and teachers to social distance.
Aspen Medical Failures
In 2019, the government of Fiji signed a deal with Aspen Medical. Aspen Medical is an Australian-owned global provider of healthcare solutions, which took over two of the largest hospitals in Fiji in order to update them.
Aspen Medical agreed to have the two hospitals, the Lautoka Hospital and the Ba Hospital, up and running by June 2021 with new state-of-the-art facilities.
However, in July, they announced that Ba Hospital would begin operations in December. This has been delayed even further to “early 2022.” Meanwhile, the Lautoka Hospital is not scheduled to begin operations until March 2022. This is unacceptable.
These and other Aspen Medical failures are harming the people of Fiji. They face the consequences of a global pandemic as well as natural disasters, and they need these hospitals.
What Can You Do?
It is clear that Fiji cannot face this Covid-19 surge, or future ones, without a strong medical system. Aspen Medical has not provided that–we need a better solution.
To learn more about Aspen Medical’s failures, read our other posts. Contact us at Info@AspenFailedFiji.org to get the latest updates, news, and next steps to help Fiji today.