Analysis | COVID-19

COVID-19: Lawbreakers Will Force a 24-hour Lockdown

If the Government puts in place a 24-hour curfew, how many Fijians can afford to stay home for 24 hours without working? Not many. How many companies can afford to pay their employees’ salaries without opening for business? Not many.
06 Apr 2020 12:14
COVID-19: Lawbreakers Will Force a 24-hour Lockdown

If the Government puts in place a 24-hour curfew, how many Fijians can afford to stay home for 24 hours without working? Not many. How many companies can afford to pay their employees’ salaries without opening for business? Not many. People will struggle, especially those who live from pay cheque to pay cheque, those who do not have hundreds or thousands of dollars saved up for a rainy day, which unfortunately are quite a few.

But, the Government will have no other option left as it cannot allow people to continue risking the lives of tens of thousands of Fijians. People have died in other countries, more will be infected and the Government will be forced to put in place measures to avoid that from happening here in Fiji.

What choice does this leave Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, and his team? What option do they have when they are determined to keep Fijians safe?

Patient 1 and Patient 7- both had contracted COVID-19 while overseas. Both flaunted Government directives and ended up transmitting the virus to others. Actions of these two individuals led to the lockdown of Lautoka, Suva and Soasoa in Labasa.

The actions of those who continue to breach the curfew will lead to a total lockdown in Fiji, people will not be allowed to earn a living. Market vendors will not be able to sell their produce and buy other essentials for their family members.

The Government will be FORCED to take this extreme step because we have people who are taking COVID-19 lightly. These people who have been arrested for breaching the curfew should shoulder the blame of a total lockdown.

Despite repeated warnings, people were arrested while having drinking parties. The world is struggling with this crisis and we have people in Fiji having grog parties and drinking parties. This is not a joking matter. This is not a time to host parties. Continue to take these risks and there will be a 24-hour lockdown for the entire country.

Let’s look at some statistics

On day 1 of curfew, which was from March 30 until March 31, 68 people breached the curfew.

Thirty-seven were arrested in the Western Division, 13 in the Southern Division and 18 in the Eastern Division.

Day 2: Forty-nine people were arrested for breaching curfew hours from 10pm to 5am.

Those arrested included 18 in the Western Division, 12 in the Southern Division, 10 in the Eastern Division, five in the North and four in the Central Division.

Day 3: Despite the repeated warnings and advisories regarding the nationwide curfew hours, another 48 people were arrested.

The Western Division recorded 18 arrests, 16 in the Southern Division, six in the Eastern Division, five in Central Division and three in the Northern Division.

Day 4: Sixty people including two Police officers breached the curfew hours.

Twenty-eight breached the curfew in the Southern Division, 26 in the Western Division, four people and the two Police officers in the Northern Division.

Day 5: A total of 123 people were arrested during the nationwide curfew hours including a Church Reverend who allegedly conducted a wedding ceremony in Nayavu Village resulting in the gathering of more than 20 people who were arrested after they were allegedly moving around during curfew hours.

Three arrests were made on the island of Rotuma.

There were 41 arrests in the Eastern Division, 40 in the Southern Division, 31 in the Western Division, seven in the Central Division and four in the Northern Division.

Day 6: From 8pm on 4 April until 5am on 5 April:

Another 110 people breached the curfew- 49 in the Western Division, 25 in the Southern Division, 31 in the Eastern Division, three in the Central Division and two in the Northern Division.

Another 24 were arrested for breaching the restrictions against social gathering.

As of 5am 5 April, 482 people breached the nationwide curfew.

This is the height of irresponsibility. There is no saying how many of these 458 were in touch with those who have been tested positive or were in the same area where the 12 confirmed cases were from.

Fiji will be under a total lockdown if people continue to breach the nationwide curfew imposed by the Government for our own safety and wellbeing.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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