40pc pregnant women have virus

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The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr James Fong. Picture: FT FILE

About 40 per cent of women coming forward to deliver babies are testing positive for COVID-19, says Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong.

He highlighted this during a news conference at the Vodafone Arena yesterday.

Dr Fong said the COVID-19 numbers or tests could drop but that did not mean we were getting over it.

“The test numbers might drop, or the test positives might drop, but to us, that does not mean that we are getting over it. We have other parametres that we utilise to indicate how bad the problem is in Fiji, there are other indicators like what proportion of pregnant women come in positive.”

He said such analysis gave the ministry an idea of what was happening on the ground.

“We’re having close to 40 per cent of our women coming into maternity unit to deliver testing positive for COVID-19.

So that gives us an indication that yes, out in the community, there’s still a high level of disease. We will not be using the number of test positives per day as an indicator of how bad the problem is.

We will be using the number of admissions, for maternity the percentage of women that are positive when they come into labour, those are the kind of things that we will be using.”