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Dr Fong Explains Reasons For Mitigation Phase Instead Of More Lockdowns

“Respectfully, I would advise political parties to read our statements carefully before making public commentary, as they risk misinforming the public about the aims of the ministry’s present strategy,” he said.
30 Aug 2021 10:00
Dr Fong Explains Reasons For Mitigation Phase Instead Of More Lockdowns

COVID-19 is here to stay and it is our duty to make sure Fiji is prepared, says Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong.

He said when traditional lockdowns were not effective against the Delta variant, the ministry shifted to the mitigation phase by announcing a policy shift away from the elimination of COVID-19.

“Respectfully, I would advise political parties to read our statements carefully before making public commentary, as they risk misinforming the public about the aims of the ministry’s present strategy,” he said.

“In the initial weeks of this outbreak, we implemented a strict lockdown and still saw rampant spread of the Delta variant.

“During periods of targeted lockdowns of smaller outbreak areas, we continued to see rampant spread of the Delta variant. We made the strategic decision to redirect resources towards preventing severe disease and hospitalisation.”

Dr Fong said a pivot towards an elimination strategy would require shutting down the country and shutting down businesses for an indeterminate period of time.

“It would take months of highly-enforced restricted movement that we do not have the resources to sustain,” he said.

“Instead, we are rapidly deploying the proven protection offered by COVID-19 vaccines, while enforcing COVID-safe behaviour among members of the public.”

To-date, over 95 per cent of Fijians have received one dose of the vaccine and over 44 per cent are fully-vaccinated.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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