NATION | NEWS

Curfew Changes, School Start Date Changes Likely

Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong, reiterated that imposing lockdown and suspending inter-island travels to the Northern Division is not an option. However, he did say that due to the substantial number of people having contracted the COVID-19 virus in the Northern division, changes to curfew time and social gathering restrictions are being considered.
30 Dec 2021 12:50
Curfew Changes, School Start Date Changes Likely
Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong (third from left), along with health officials outside Ro Qomate House in Labasa on December 29, CONTINUES ON PAGE 5 2021. Photo: Sampras Anand

Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong, reiterated that imposing lockdown and suspending inter-island travels to the Northern Division is not an option.

However, he did say that due to the substantial number of people having contracted the COVID-19 virus in the Northern division, changes to curfew time and social gathering restrictions are being considered.

And, by Friday, we will know whether there would be any changes to the dates when schools are scheduled to reopen.

 

COVID-19 And Curfews
Dr Fong said that the Northern Division was in a better position to counter the COVID-19 virus because of the high vaccination coverage here.

“With higher vaccination coverage, we are positive that we will not have the same magnitude of problems we encountered in the Central and Western Division,” he stated.

Dr Fong said suppression of the COVID-19 virus was vital to fighting the community transmission cases in the division.

 

He indicated that a small group of people who attended a clinic in Labasa, 70 per cent of them were confirmed to be COVID-19 positive.

A good number of doctors and nurses have contracted COVID-19, which was a clear indication that a huge amount of community transmission cases were already moving in the division.

“The only good thing I can work out at the moment is that we only have 11 COVID-positive cases at Labasa Hospital, of which 10 were initially admitted for other illnesses, but contracted COVID during their routine screening process,” he said.

 

Dr Fong said they currently do not have severe COVID cases and pressure on their health systems in the division.

“The initial indication is that the widespread vaccination is working, however, the next few days will be crucial to our COVID-19 mitigation efforts,” he said.

“Capacity gathering indoors and mandatory masking is now being considered to mitigate these COVID-risks”.

 

North Health Teams Prepared
Dr Fong reiterated their health teams and medical professionals were well trained and rehearsed to contain and medically support northerners, who have been infected with COVID-19.

He said health workers in the Northern Division have been called back to work again so that they could take up their roles in their respective stations.

This would help the ministry and health teams to deploy staff to areas and health centres that need their assistance.

 

Dr Fong was impressed with the work carried out by health teams in the division.

“A lot of our health team staff were deployed to the Central Division during the second wave of COVID, so they have been able to put together and prepare the line lease, care plans, and set up all their hospitals,” he said.

“Get their oxygen supplies ready, personal and protective supplies in order”

 

 

Minister for Education Premila Kumar with students of Khalsa College in Labasa after her short visit and handed over sanitiser and masks on December 17, 2021. Photo: LAISA LUI

Minister for Education Premila Kumar with students of Khalsa College in Labasa after her short visit and handed over sanitiser and masks on December 17, 2021.
Photo: LAISA LUI

School Date Talks
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Premila Kumar says if there are any changes to the dates of the beginning of the school year, an update would be done by this Friday or Saturday.

Ms Kumar made the comments in light of the surge in COVID-19 cases recorded around the country.

Earlier this month Ms Kumar announced that Years 8 to 11 students would resume classes from January 4, while students from Kindergarten to Year 7 would resume school from January 10.

 

When contacted by the Fiji Sun yesterday, she said an update was not available as of yesterday.

“We will put out an update on that probably not today.”

“I have just been in a meeting and I will have to back,” she said.

 

“If there are any changes in the school resumption dates we will be able to put that out by Friday or Saturday.”

She said as of yesterday, the previously announced dates remain confirmed.

“If there is any change on that we will issue an update.”

“I will be able to disclose everything in our meetings with our stakeholders on Friday and not now.”

 

 

Feedback: sampras.anand@fijisun.com.fj



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Win Christmas with Tower Insurance
Fijisun E-edition
Advertise here
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper