Mortuary at Fiji's largest hospital full as COVID-19 cases surge

CANBERRA, July 5 (Reuters) - The mortuary at Fiji's largest hospital is now full, the country's health ministry said on Monday, as the Pacific island nation logs record daily coronavirus cases.

There were no immediate details on the capacity of the morgue. Twenty-eight people have died from COVID-19 in a second wave of infections starting in April, the ministry said on Sunday.

The Colonial War Memorial Hospital in the sole public hospital in the capital of Suva and its facilities are now devoted to caring for COVID patients.

"Due to the mortuary now being utilised to full capacity, the concerned relatives are kindly requested to make immediate arrangements for the uplifting of the deceased from the mortuary, and the performance of final funeral rites for your loved ones," the ministry said in a statement.

Although Fiji had early success with keeping the virus at bay by closing its borders, the highly transmissible Delta variant, first detected in India, is now spreading. A new daily high of 522 new infections was recorded on Sunday. The island has a population of about 900,000.

About 54% of Fijians have received at least one dose of the AstraZeneca or Sinopharm vaccines, according to official data, while almost 9% have received a second.

Papua New Guinea is also battling a jump in infections. read more

Reporting by Colin Packham and Jonathan Barrett;

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