Not Worth The Risk, All Non-Essential Businesses Fiji Wide To Remain Closed

COVID-19 has never posed a graver risk to Fijian lives than it does today.
06 May 2021 21:28
Not Worth The Risk, All Non-Essential Businesses Fiji Wide To Remain Closed
All non-essential businesses to remain closed. Photo: Leon Lord

The announcement of four new cases of COVID-19 has reinforced the need to keep all non-essential businesses closed.

Two of the four confirmed cases are nurses – a 47-year-old from Raiwaqa Health Centre and a 25-year-old nurse who worked within Lautoka Hospital.

The Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong made the following comment during his nationwide address.

“Lautoka and Suva are not the only areas of the country that require vigilance. We now have too many cases of possible community transmission to say ––with confidence –– that the virus is limited to our containment areas.

“Earlier, we announced that non-essential businesses outside of the containment areas may open. That’s simply no longer worth the risk.

“These non-essential businesses should close.”

Only the following essential services should open:

  • Supermarkets,
  • shops,
  • Banks,
  • Pharmacies, and other essential industries – as previously announced.

Dr Fong said the cost of the outbreak are already unacceptably high.

“I cannot stress enough how important early, preventive action is to stopping those costs from rising further. Early diagnosis of the virus can increase survivability.

“Early society-wide prevention measures can decrease widespread transmission.”

Dr Fong again reiterated:

  • Wash your hands often,
  • Wear a mask in public
  • Install careFIJI and keep it running every time you leave the home
  • Maintain physical distance at all times.

For members of the public who are not maintaining physical distance in public places and businesses, Police will be out in force to ensure that the 2 metre distance is maintained – especially in supermarkets and other public places.

“If you see a crowd, don’t add to the problem. Stay away. Better yet, don’t leave home at all. Stay home. My staff in Lautoka Hospital don’t have that privilege at the moment, so let’s honour their sacrifice by staying within the safety of our homes as much as possible.

“COVID-19 has never posed a graver risk to Fijian lives than it does today. If our ICUs become stressed with high numbers of COVID-positive patients, we will be hard-pressed, like other countries with high rates of infection, to fully treat people who need critical care, and it will be too late to prevent a great deal of human suffering. We still have the chance to stop that from happening.

“I’ve detailed the steps the Ministry is taking to make our services as COVID-safe as possible. I ask that households, communities, organisations, and businesses all think just as seriously about the steps they can take as well. The health guidance we publish is the baseline for the actions and behaviour we expect from businesses and the public.

“If you see an opportunity to go above and beyond our guidance to keep yourself, your workplace, or your household members safe –– take it. You could save a life. And together, as that commitment carries across the country, all of us can spare Fiji from the further heartbreak of losing more patients to this virus.”

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