NATION

Checkpoint Into Colo-I-Suva Set Up To Guard Against Potential Spread Of COVID-19

Villagers in Colo-i-Suva have gone the extra mile in assisting the country in combating the spread of COVID-19. They have done this by setting up checkpoints at their village entrance.
27 Apr 2020 10:18
Checkpoint Into Colo-I-Suva Set Up To Guard Against Potential Spread Of COVID-19
(From left) Colo-I-Suva villagers Uraia Sedudu, Ilisavani Dakuca, Sakiusa Bai and village headman Tomasi Dakuni at the checkpoint set up at the entrance to their village on April 26, 2020. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Villagers in Colo-i-Suva have gone the extra mile in assisting the country in combating the spread of COVID-19. They have done this by setting up checkpoints at their village entrance.

Village headman, Tomasi Dakuni said: “This is a way of restricting unnecessary movements in and out of the village and to also restrict unknown visitors who may be carriers of the virus.

“Some people are taking the Government’s warnings about this virus very lightly and what it can do and I will not stand by and watch,” Mr Dakuni said.

“There are about 376 people living here in the village. We are doing this for the sake of our well-being and knowing that we are doing our best in practicing social distancing, washing our hands and using hand-sanitisers, but at the same time we are still vulnerable.”

Young men of Colo-i-Suva (from left) Uraia Sedudu, Sakiusa Bai and Ilisavani Dakucaguard at the checkpoint set up at the entrance to their village on April 26, 2020. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Young men of Colo-i-Suva (from left) Uraia Sedudu, Sakiusa Bai and Ilisavani Dakucaguard at the checkpoint set up at the entrance to their village on April 26, 2020. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Visitors are stopped at the checkpoint where their names are registered in a log book. They would also need consent from the village headman in order to enter.

It has been three weeks since the initiative began. Young people are the ones who usually man the checkpoint, taking turns to help curb any chance of the virus reaching their village.

“We started on April 6, after a thorough discussion with the village committee members and I announced that a checkpoint be done immediately.

“Many objected to the idea, but as the village headman, I strongly encouraged it and it was settled. Villagers are allowed to enter and leave the village for their grocery shopping or for other essential services, however we strongly advise them to do just that,” Mr Dakuni said.

“If villagers do not abide by this village law, then they are given community work around the entire village like cutting grass or helping clean another’s residence just to name a few.

“Since the curfew’s start was extended to 10pm, those at the checkpoint will not allow anyone into the village from 8pm just like we did when the curfew was at 8pm, restrictions started from 6:30pm until 5am.”

Village youth, Ilisavani Dakuca, who was stationed at the checkpoint yesterday, said: “We are doing this because we are concerned about how deadly the virus has been around the world and we do not want that same experience to even reach us.

“This is a good initiative because we are trying to help each other fight against COVID-19,” he said.

Mr Dakuni said the lockdown restrictions would be lifted once Fiji no longer had any more COVID-19 cases or when they felt it was safe to do so.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: adi.sovasiga@fijisun.com.fj



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