NEWS

PM Acknowledges The Sacrifices Of Every Fijian, Reminds New Measures Irreversible

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday reminded Fijians the new relaxed measures announced were a result of sacrifices made but none of these measures were irreversible. While delivering his Fiji Day
11 Oct 2021 10:30
PM Acknowledges The Sacrifices Of Every Fijian, Reminds New Measures Irreversible
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during his nationwide address on October 10, 2021. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday reminded Fijians the new relaxed measures announced were a result of sacrifices made but none of these measures were irreversible.

While delivering his Fiji Day remarks, Mr Bainimarama said he was grateful to every Fijian who helped us reach here.

“I spent this morning at our first Fiji Navy Church Service after five long months of worshipping from home,” he said.

“Sitting among my fellow servicemen and women, along with my loved ones and friends, new and old, I was grateful.

“Grateful to every Fijian who helped get us here; our doctors, nurses, and members of our disciplined forces, the lorry drivers, and our teams deploying food rations and disbursing unemployment assistance, and grateful to each of you, the Fijians who have chosen the protection that vaccines offer.”

“We did not regain the privilege of returning to our churches, temples and mosques simply because we wanted it or even demanded it. We earned it through sacrifice. Fiji’s streets were never filled with mask-less protestors calling for the premature rollback of health restrictions.

r“We returned to our houses of worship, to our places of work, to our businesses and into the arms of our friends and family the right way: By becoming one of the fastest-vaccinated countries in the world. And we should be proud to have made that journey together with compassion, patience, and vigilance.”

He said some Fijians are only partially-vaccinated, and a tiny minority are not vaccinated at all.

“What is more, we are still in the process of vaccinating our children, and we need to protect them. So we cannot afford a mad rush back to the carefree ways of living and doing business we once knew—at least not yet. We should be focussed on our adherence to rules that remain in place, not exploiting those that are being relaxed.

Decision can be reversed 

“Let me now issue a brief disclaimer. Nothing I am announcing is an irreversible decision.

“As you know, one of the constants during this pandemic has been change –change in what we know about the virus and how it spreads, change in the way we respond to new information, and changes in the restrictions we have had to endure based on the ebbs and flows of the pandemic.”

“We expect that widespread vaccination will protect us against the worst of the virus, but if we see serious outbreaks due to such things as new global variants that lead to concerning rates of hospitalisations, we will have no choice but to re-introduce restrictions.”

He said unsafe habits like sharing the same bowl of grog or passing around the same cigarette butt should not happen.

“And not just when the cameras are rolling or when the police are watching,” he said.

“We have to actually change the way we think, we have to change our attitude and we have to change the way we do things, and the most important moments in that change are when no one is watching.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa 

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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