New variant threat could reintroduce restrictions

October 11, 2021 12:58 pm

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.[Source: Fijian Government]

The COVID-19 measures which have been relaxed could be re-introduced if there are serious outbreaks due to new global variants.

This has been stressed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama as he announced a number of new measures and relaxations to keep Fiji safe, and to move the country forward.

Bainimarama says while widespread vaccination will protect Fijians against the worst, Fijians must adapt to new ways of going about their lives.

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“If we see serious outbreaks due to such things as new global variants that lead to concerning rates of hospitalizations, we will have no choice but to re-introduce restrictions. Unsafe habits like sharing the same bowl of grog or passing around the same cigarette butt should not happen. And not just when the cameras are rolling or when the police are watching. We have to actually change the way we think, we have to change our attitude and we have to change the way we do things, and the most important moments in that change are when no one is watching.”

Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Doctor James Fong there a lot more believers in COVID safe measures and people have taken to heart the requirement for COVID- discipline.

He says because of this, any spread of a new variant will be slower.

“It will be slowed down by the fact that we are vaccinated and it will be slowed even further by the fact that we got people who are COVID safe. Because it moved slower, it means we have the ability to contain it faster, which means we won’t overburdened health system trying to struggle through a huge load of people at one point in time. It means if cases are going to come in it will trickle in and we can identify them early.”

The Prime Minister says being a COVID-safe country is good for everyone and for the economy and is urging every Fijian to maintain these measures.