NEWS

Coronavirus: Cruiseliner Tourists Not Affected By Closure Of Borders, Says Agents

Not every victim could come in from China so that does not mean that we have a ban in place for foreign nationals that we relax a bit, we will continue to be vigilant. - Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete, Minister for Health and Medical Services
04 Feb 2020 10:34
Coronavirus: Cruiseliner Tourists Not Affected By Closure Of Borders, Says Agents
The Voyager of the Seas at the Port of Lautoka on January 2, 2020. Photo: Salote Qalubau

Cruiseliner operations in the country will not be affected by the closing of borders to foreign nationals who have been in mainland China within 14-days of their intended travel to Fiji.

The comment was made by cruiseliner agents, Kenua (Transam) Fiji manager, Leone Naivalu, yesterday.

The shutting down of Fiji’s borders to foreign nationals who have been in mainland China within 14-days is a measure by the Fijian Government, practising precaution in the interest of mitigating the risk of an outbreak of the coronavirus in Fiji.

He said Fiji did not receive cruise liners from mainland China nor did any cruise ship arrive here before 14 days at sea.

“Cruiseliners that come to Fiji do not make a stop in China,” Mr Naivalu said.

“To my understanding, the cruise ships that we bring into the country usually make Fiji the fourth to fifth port of entry and that is after 10 to 15 days at sea,” he said.

“One thing we need to understand is that cruise tourists have been on the ship for quite some time; they didn’t just arrive in from China like those coming in from airplanes and probably are sick.”

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said to ensure the Department of Immigration directives were followed, the border security health teams were vigilant at airports and port terminals.

“The instructions from the department must be followed,” Dr Waqainabete said.

“Those who come in cruiseliners are of low risk, but we will ensure we practise due diligence in our work of preventing the epidemic here.

“This is mainly by border control, checking their travel history, the places they had visited and so on.

“Not every victim could come in from China so that does not mean that we have a ban in place for foreign nationals that we relax a bit, we will continue to be vigilant.”

Personal hygiene

Dr Waqainabete has reiterated his stand on the importance of personal hygiene, in the prevention of the novel coronavirus in the country.

He said the most important thing was prevention and the main component was personal hygiene.

“It comes down to how clean we continue to keep ourselves like covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, washing hands properly with soap and water and washing your hands after caring for the sick.”

Edited by Percy Kean

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