‘Vulnerable’ urged to contact ministry

Emergency staff members at the CWM Hospital attend to a serious case at the Emergency Unit in Suva last week. Anyone above the age of 50 who has a chronic illness needs to immediately get in touch with the Health Ministry, says Dr James Fong. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Anyone above the age of 50, who has a chronic illness such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, asthma, are obese pregnant, needs to immediately get in touch with the Health Ministry and visit a screening clinic.

This, according to Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong.

“If you test positive, then we will ensure you are provided immediate care by our health teams,” he said.

“Over the past few weeks, the overwhelming majority of COVID-19 deaths have been in our most vulnerable community members.

“When our health teams first saw these patients, most of them were either in a critical condition or had already passed away.

“If our health teams were able to see these patients earlier, we may have been able to save them.

“We know many families are valiantly trying to care for their loved ones at home but for those who are most at risk of severe COVID-19, home care won’t be enough.

“These individuals need their oxygen levels closely monitored, likely need access to supplemental oxygen as well as clinical teams to rapidly respond if their condition deteriorates.”

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