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PM calls for a stop to COVID-19 fear mongering and false reporting

February 14, 2020 5:28 pm
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama fear-mongering in relation to the coronavirus now known as COVID-19 will not be tolerated.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says fear-mongering in relation to the coronavirus now known as COVID-19 will not be tolerated.

Bainimarama this afternoon in a statement says Fiji’s health experts have ensured that every passenger entering the country, whether by plane or ship, is screened for the virus the moment they first step in the country.

He adds reports implying anything but this reality are irresponsible and this is an issue of public health and the media must respect the facts and provide the full context in all of their reporting.

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The PM saying recently, the Fiji Times ran a story about cruise ship passengers in Suva, implying that they had not been adequately screened before entering the country.

Bainimarama saying this was totally false as all passengers were vetted and screened at their port of entry in Lautoka.

We have sent questions to the Fiji Times on this issue.

Meanwhile Bainimarama says this is exactly the sort of fake, fear-mongering news that cannot be tolerated, particularly on an issue that relates so directly to the health and well-being of our people.

The statement further says the stringent screening practices will continue just as it was during the measles outbreak.

Bainimarama adding that Fiji is now entering the flu season, and influenza sharing many of the same symptoms as COVID-19, all Fijians must take precautionary measures.

He has also assured Fiji’s tourism operators that Fiji fully recognises that China is a major market for revenue, and the Fijian government hopes to normalise relations to minimize the impact on businesses and the Fijian economy as soon as it is safe to do so.

The head of government says Fijian borders are closed to all foreign nationals who have been present in mainland China within two weeks of their intended travel to Fiji and this will continue.

Bainimarama says had they totally shut down the country — as some called for — the nationwide preparation and prevention efforts would have been nearly impossible to undertake.

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