PM Reiterates Warning: Stay Home Or Get Arrested

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has expressed his concern that some Fijians have defied the lockdown rules. He has reiterated that the offenders will be arrested and locked up as earlier
17 May 2021 12:30
PM Reiterates Warning: Stay Home Or Get Arrested
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama . Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has expressed his concern that some Fijians have defied the lockdown rules.

He has reiterated that the offenders will be arrested and locked up as earlier announced by Acting Police Commissioner Rusiate Tudravu.

He says it is a command that people must stay home to save lives. He shared his concern when he spoke in iTaukei in the Radio Fiji One programme called Domoiviti yesterday.

“There are still scores of Fijians, in particular those who live between Suva and Nausori, who are not taking this seriously – who have ignored my Government’s advice,” he said.

“You have shown this by disregarding measures designed to keep you safe.” He said the people in question still roamed the streets aimlessly, gathered without social distancing.

“You move from one community to another, you visit your relatives, you break your bubbles. You have been extremely irresponsible. Simply put, you are a highrisk individual. I now want to speak directly to you.

“Throughout this week, my Government has been, through the Permanent Secretary for Health, advising Fijians to be sensible and do the right thing: Stay Home, Save Lives.

“However, despite this scientifically and medically proven advice, you are still ignoring it. You have in fact done the opposite.

“The essence of insanity is when people do the same things over and over again expecting a different result.

“You are on this path by ignoring our advice, doing the same thing repeatedly because in the end you will contract the virus. “

I assure you; you do not want this result. So, I will now move from asking to giving advice to pleading with you.

“Now I command you to: Stay at Home! Remain within your bubble,” he said.

“This command follows what the acting Commissioner of Police has already conveyed before this lockdown.

“For those who break the curfew, they will be locked down in the Police cell.

“Rest assured that the Police and the military have my total confidence and support.

“If you are caught you will be reprimanded, and the full arm of the law will be unleashed on you.

“I say again, Stay Home To Be Safe. Obey the command from the medical authorities: Keep the faith and remain confident that your right actions will protect you and your family from COVID-19.

“When you move, you risk contracting the virus. You are sacrificing not only your lives but also your loved ones, your family and bubble.

“We are at war with an unseen enemy which has already claimed 3.7 million lives around the world. In some countries, there have been mass burials and cremations.

“Being a small sea-locked country, Fiji can experience the same thing if hundreds die from this virus. The fact of the matter is that this can happen to those living in the Suva-Nausori corridor where hundreds of thousands of Fijians live.

“At the current rate of community transmission this can become a reality. It can be sooner with the way people like you are behaving. Nothing kills the virus more than staying at home.

“If rules are broken like what you are doing now, you will die not the virus. This short sacrifice, though painful, will protect you and your family in the long run. One month ago, at the onset of this crisis, we issued an advice to all iTaukei villages and settlements to implement containment measures for their protection and wellbeing.

“They responded quickly and positively to our advice. In fact, some of them were ahead of it. Their quick actions ensured that the virus stayed out of our villages.

“Our Roko Tuis heard the call and rallied the support of our turaganikoros to lock down their villages.

“Some say that we were too stringent. Some ridiculed it. Some commentators encouraged our turaganikoros to ignore it. But they were not heard. I commend our turaganikoros for heeding our advice. Because of their smart actions, our villages are still COVID free.

“I expect the same approach from our formal and informal urban dwellers between Suva and Nausori. It is not too late. The war against this virus is still winnable and many thousands of Fijians can still be protected.

“We will fight this in our villages, we will fight this in our towns, we will fight this in our workplace, we will fight this at home – we will fight it as a family, we will fight it as a nation.

“And the only weapon I offer is this – Stay Home, Save Lives. Let’s obey and follow the advice by the medical authorities. Keep the faith Fiji. Together we will be victorious.”

Mr Bainimarama thanks “all loyal and dedicated Fijians who have put your lives on the line to protect us.” “I commend your efforts. I also want to thank all Fijians who have responded to my Government’s advice and instructions on the only solution to this crisis – Stay Home, Save Lives. By being obedient you have reduced our burden.

“To all Fijians in our villages, I have seen your quick efforts in putting in place containment measures. Your action so far has so far prevented the entrance of COVID-19 into your villages. And I thank you most sincerely. Nothing is more important than obedience.”


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