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COVID-19

Nationwide lockdown a real possibility

April 24, 2021 5:45 am
[File Photo]

The Health Ministry will implement a nationwide lockdown if people continue to disregard COVID-19 restrictions.

These include the wearing of masks, social distancing and avoiding social gatherings and no unnecessary movement.

Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong confirms police are ready to implement a lockdown immediately if the need arises, and the ministry meets with all government agencies on a daily basis to plan contingencies.

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“The police reassured me that they are ready, if we have to we will. It will be quite severe, if we have to call a lockdown it will be severe and we will not give a warning. It will just have to happen.”

Dr Fong adds the only other time such a severe step would be considered is if authorities assess that there is a real threat where a large portion of the population could be infected.

“However, if we know that the person can spread it to a huge number of people-YES-lockdown. That’s easy. The other one is if we look around and we see that nobody is complying with our requirements for mask. There is no covid-safe behaviour around the place then that’ll be another trigger that we’ll have to lockdown.”

Fijians in Suva, Nausori and Lami have been put on notice that these areas are at higher risk of a complete lockdown if people continue to be ignorant of advisories.

Dr Fong also warns that if a national lockdown happens, it will happen suddenly and without warning.

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