NEWS

COVID-19: Dr Fong Hits Back With Impassioned Response

An emotional Dr Fong said their contact tracing efforts was only as good as the history they get when the careFIJI app is not activated.
28 Apr 2021 09:36
COVID-19: Dr Fong Hits Back With Impassioned Response
Permanent Secrtary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong during his nationwide address on April 27, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong lashed out at the public through a press conference yesterday on the hardships that his team was facing in their contact tracing efforts.

He was questioned as to why the husband of the 29-year-old Makoi woman was not isolated initially as a first contact of Fiji’s 73rd COVID-19 case when he was diagnosed.

An emotional Dr Fong said their contact tracing efforts was only as good as the history they get when the careFIJI app is not activated.

“If the soldier had the app on and he (Makoi woman’s husband) had the app on I would have picked him up long ago,” Dr Fong said angrily while pleading with the public to understand his anger.

“When the going was good we were saying download the app. Now when the going gets bad and you are running around blaming us for the contact tracing. What part do you have to play? You’re supposed to play your part, download the app, social distance, wear masks, and clean your hands.”

He then apologised for his outburst saying: “It’s just that when you are in my place and you understand that I have been saying this on and on for ages and nobody wants to follow and then people criticise us in the media for saying these things and then people get angry, so do I, I can get angry.”

He also stated that there is no need to make the downloading of the careFIJI app compulsory.

“I’m still stuck with this question why do we need to make it compulsory? I’m sure the Fijian IQ is high enough to understand that there is a big problem out there. Why do we need to make it compulsory? There is absolutely no need to make it compulsory, we just know we are going to be in danger we react in a constructive manner.”

Head of Health Protection Dr Aalisha Sahukhan said they have noted a big increase in the number of downloads since last week.

So far 213,000 downloads have been done which is an increase of 100,000 within a week.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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