Variant of concern explodes; Fijians warned to cut out complacency
May 14, 2021 6:00 am
[Source: Fijian Government]
The International Federation of the Red Cross says COVID-19 cases has exploded in regions such as the Pacific, with Fiji raging a battle with a variant of concern.
This follows the World Health Organization’s announcement that the B 1.6.17 variant first found in India, has now spread to 49 countries, including Fiji.
It comes as Fiji’s health officials have again sounded a warning for people to adhere, saying Fijians are following a pattern of not taking the virus seriously and this complacency is unacceptable.
The WHO has released the latest data that shows this variant is more infectious, pointing to the public health challenge we face in Fiji.
As the crisis in Fiji deepens the International Federation of the Red Cross says seven out of 10 countries that are doubling their infection numbers the fastest are in Asia and the Pacific.
Health Permanent Secretary, Doctor James Fong, says the lives being lost overseas could become a grim reality for us if the laxity in attitude continues.
“Tragedy has already given us a small glimpse into how serious this virus can be and two lives have already been lost. What will it take for us all to recognise that COVID-19 won’t magically disappear on its own? The death of your favourite rugby player? Your religious leader? Your neighbour? Your mother, your father, your spouse, your brother, your sister, your grandparent, or your children? The power to protect them is in your hands, so wash them often. And please, heed my words, Stay at home. Stay in your bubble. Lockdown or not, home is where you ought to be.”
Fiji has 52 active cases, with six being border quarantine cases, 33 of local transmission and 13 under investigation to identify their source.
Fiji has had 165 cases since the first case on March 19 last year, with 109 recoveries and four deaths.