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PM says stakeholders working together to fight Coronavirus threat

January 28, 2020 9:33 am
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama

Prime Minister says to date there are no confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Fiji.

Voreqe Bainimarama says the government is working on all avenues to keep the country free from the sickness entering here.

In a collective effort to ensure no virus-carrying person enters the country, the Fijian government is working closely with Fiji Airways, to identify all at-risk travellers checking in at overseas ports.

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Bainimarama says these travellers will be required to undergo thermal screening prior to boarding.

“Out of an abundance of caution, all cabin crew on flights to and from Hong Kong, Singapore and Narita will be taking extra precautions to ensure a hygienic environment. In emergency cases, on-board isolation measures can be undertaken by the flight crew. Working with the Ministry of Health, Fiji Airways will also introduce Special Health Declaration Ports at all Asian ports that will require guests to report if they travelled through mainland China in the past 14 days. If appropriate, individuals will be quarantined. As the coronavirus situation unfolds overseas, further measures will be taken if deemed necessary.”

The Prime Minister says while there are no direct flights from where the virus started, Wuhan to Fiji, this outbreak is global in scale and Fiji is not immune to risk.

“The Fijian public can take comfort knowing that, from last week, enhanced monitoring has been instituted at Nadi International Airport. All passengers travelling from Hong Kong and Singapore have been met by health officers who have reviewed their health declarations and determined if they have recently travelled to the Hubei Province. “

Bainimarama says while there are no cases in Fiji, medical experts have revealed the disease can go undetected until symptoms appear, and as we have seen in the United States and elsewhere, it is virtually impossible to contain a virus across international borders.

“We are undertaking all necessary preparations to ensure we’re ready to aggressively identify, treat, investigate and contain the virus. Contingency plans are in place at our major health facilities and hospitals are stocking up on supplies to be able to respond effectively.”

Bainimarama says Fijians should also not travel to the Hubei Province in China and it is absolutely critical that everyone stick to the facts and strictly adhere to instructions and information provided by the World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health.

“We will only release information once it has been confirmed by the relevant experts and authorities. Given this is a matter of national security, we cannot tolerate unfounded fear-mongering. Any manner of speculation is dangerous and counter-productive and should be condemned in the harshest terms.”

The PM says he is being briefed everyday on the status in Fiji.

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