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COVID-19

Local experts the best to determine COVID-19 restrictions: Dr Baker

July 12, 2021 6:30 am

A lockdown in areas affected by COVID-19 for several weeks at a time to help halt the transmission of the virus can be very difficult to sustain for a country like Fiji.

Otago University’s Public Health Professor Dr Michael Baker says though the lockdown will be effective it will be difficult for low and middle income countries like Fiji where food security could be an issue, where people have to go out just to feed their families.

Dr Michael Baker believes local experts would know best whether any type of lockdown would be sustainable.

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“But in terms of trying to dampen down an intense pandemic like this, we know this would be the optimal approach. its just whether it translates into that context. Really its up to the people on the ground there who know the setup as to whether it can work.”

New Defence Force medical doctor, Dr Naomi Gough who is currently assisting the Health Ministry in Suva with the AUSMAT Team says the current restrictions in Suva is equivocal to a level three or level four lockdown in New Zealand.

“Actually even just having enough food so you don’t have to go out all the time is a challenge. There’s a number of challenges families will have out here in terms of trying to adhere to kinds of lockdowns that have happened in New Zealand in the past. These are all the things the government has to work through and really they are the experts in what’s required to support their communities.”

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has also made it clear that lockdowns are not part of it’s recommended public health and social measures.

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