Opinion

New Normal A New Reality As We Continue Our COVID-19 Journey Into The Future

The new app will help to keep us safer
22 Jun 2020 11:42
New Normal A New Reality As We Continue Our COVID-19 Journey Into The Future
Download the careFIJI app today.

Fiji is one of a few countries leading the way in ensuring that we keep COVID-19 at bay. After 64 straight days of no new case and no death we have now entered phase two.

As announced by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday some restrictions have been relaxed. The reopening of the border to New Zealand and Australian tourists with strict conditions and the launch of the careFIJI App to make contact tracing easier and safer are two significant items in the PM’s statement.

The border issue about tourists is conditional on Australia and New Zealand opening their borders to their nationals wanting to holiday in Fiji and the Pacific. These tourists must have papers to show that they are COVID-19 free and had been quarantined for 14 days. Currently both countries have confirmed cases of the virus

So we have to be extra vigilant at the border.

The new app will help to keep us safer

According to Mr Bainimarama, it is a powerful new tool that allows us to notify users if they are exposed to the coronavirus. This App forms the foundation of Phase Two of our recovery, and of the new normal we’re working to create.

Mr Bainimarama says the practice of contact tracing was critical to Fiji’s success in breaking the chains of COVID-transmission. But much of that effort led by our contact tracing teams relied on people’s memories.

The onus is on all of us to get this App and use it . careFIJI uses Bluetooth technology on our phones to make contact tracing much faster and more accurate. It’s built on the very same technology that both Singapore and Australia have used to launch their own contact-tracing apps.

Mr Bainimarama says if used by enough people, this will “break the chain” in a faster, more highly-targeted way. This would allow Fiji to limit the need for broader public health measures, like lockdowns.

The resumption of some activities like sports, movie s in cinema and increase of church congregation size to 50 per cent of the capacity are welcome but there is a strong warning that we must take all the necessary precautions at the same time.

This is the new normal.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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