Sunvoice

Fiji Can Learn From Border Slip-Up In New Zealand

It’s an embarrassment to the New Zealand Government which prides itself in being thorough. It has also been praised for the way it eliminated COVID19. The latest incident therefore came as a shock.
19 Jun 2020 13:17
Fiji Can Learn From Border Slip-Up In New Zealand
Wellington Airport

Editorial:

Just when New Zealand thought it is free from COVID-19, it has recorded two new cases.

Two women who arrived at Auckland Airport from the United Kingdom and were in quarantine were tested positive in Wellington.  They had been given permission on compassionate grounds to travel to the capital city.

The incident has caused a big furore over the slipup, it was obvious someone or more were sleeping on the job in Auckland at the border.

It’s an embarrassment to the New Zealand Government which prides itself in being thorough. It has also been praised for the way it eliminated COVID19. The latest incident, therefore, came as a shock.

But it goes to show that things could go wrong if we become complacent or let our guard down. Life has returned to normal in New Zealand after it went to level one with no more community transmission. Psychologically, people believe that they are free and therefore have relaxed taking precautionary measures like wearing of masks and gloves.

We should learn from the New Zealand experience and ensure that while there is no more community transmission we must maintain our vigilance at the border and other frontline hot spots.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will soon be making an important announcement and people are already wishing for the lifting of all restrictions.

The announcement could also include the release of a new app that will revolutionise contact tracing. It would make the process of quickly tracking down carriers a lot faster and safe.

The new app is only good if human input complies with all the protocols. It’s the same with any system,

We may have the best system, but if we don’t do our part it will fail.

It only takes one or more persons to drop their guard to compromise the system as it happened in Zealand.

Fiji has robust border surveillance and the frontline staff have been awesome. Even if we have to reopen the border there is high public confidence that our frontline staff will not let us down.

Feedbacknemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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