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A-G: No Alarm On Men-C Disease

A-G: No Alarm On Men-C Disease
MP Jilila Kumar (left) and Opposition member Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu after the Parliament sitting on April 19,2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua
April 20
10:00 2018

 

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has assured Parliament that the menin­gococcal disease does not affect Fiji’s tour­ism industry.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said any outbreak of any disease in any country would, of course, create alarm particularly a country that highly depended on tourism and hospi­tality.

He said it would, however, be alarming to equate SARS and Meningococcal, SARs is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum assured the House that MEN-C did not pose any threat or impact on the tourism industry because for Fiji the two tourism destinations, which were tour­ists from Australia and New Zealand, al­ready had its own Meningococcal vaccines in place.

He said, “It is our responsibility not to cre­ate any type of alarm about it, but to take our own precautionary measure and work with tourism agencies to ensure it does not have an impact on our tourism industry.”

However, SODELPA’s Ratu Naiqama Lala­balavu said there should be a cause of alarm in the foreign sickness that’s now in Fiji.

He asked Mr Sayed-Khaiyum what sort of safeguards the Government had in isolating those who have this type foreign sickness.

“I say foreign sickness because, the Hon­ourable Acting Prime Minister in a state­ment indicated to the House that this Meningococcal has an Asian strain, from Asia maybe as a result of the free visas to Asian countries,” Ratu Naiqama said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the disease could be transmitted through those visiting Fiji or Fijians visiting other countries.

SODELPA Viliame Gavoka called for the Government to be open with the tourism market with the crisis and not hide any­thing that could impact the safety of chil­dren and family.

He said the FijiFirst Government was very secretive and called for a taskforce to be set up.

“We want to know if the commitment is there between Government and the indus­try.” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he found the question “ridiculously inappropriate”.

“What is this nonsense of being secretive? It’s reported in the Fiji Times, the Fiji Sun, Fiji TV and FBC. What’s so secretive about that?”

He said the Opposition was making the is­sue look big to score political points scoring at any expense, even it meant undermining the tourism industry.

SODELPA’s Niko Nawaikula again asked Mr Sayed-Khaiyum if he would ask Aus­tralia and New Zealand to vaccinate their children.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum refused to respond to a question raised by Mr Nawaikula, stat­ing that the question was preposterous and he had already reiterated that the children were already vaccinated.

He said the question was not worth re­sponding to.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

 

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