Political leaders call for managed lockdowns
July 11, 2021 4:48 pm
Opposition Political leaders say their calls for lockdown is not of one to fully shut down everything.
National Federation Party Leader, Professor Biman Prasad, SODELPA Leader Viliame Gavoka, and Fiji Labor Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry say they want essential services to continue but everything else halted to contain the virus.
They say while the curfew is in place at the moment, there still is too much leeway on movement as seen on a daily basis.
The leaders say we should follow Australia and New Zealand style of lockdowns where only the absolutely essential movement is allowed.
NFP Leader, Professor Biman Prasad stresses that Fiji needs to have a lockdown that will halt the spread of the virus in its tracks but not one that will leave people hungry.
“Nobody is talking about a definite week or a number of days. What we are saying is a well-planned, well-backed up plan, properly executed with vaccination programs, with testing programs, and support for the people who cannot afford to put food on the table would be the best way.”
SODELPA Party Leader Viliame Gavoka echoed Professor Prasad’s sentiments for a lockdown with some leeway for essential services to continue.
“It is a lockdown that is verging on totality but with provisions for services.”
Fiji Labor Party Leader, Mahendra Chaudhry believes people’s health come before the economy and there still needs to be a lockdown.
“People would be allowed to attend to essentials like shopping, going to the doctors and pharmacies, only for essentials otherwise, they’d stay home or work from home wherever possible.”
The three leaders are calling on the government to be upfront with what is needed to carry out a lockdown.
However, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has made it clear that a period of 28 days of a hard lockdown — as some are calling for — cannot be strictly enforced everywhere in Fiji and experts have said it would not kill off the virus.
Bainimarama adds that a lockdown would kill jobs and it could kill Fiji’s future.