Restrictions on movement in Fiji due to Covid-19 threat

Friday 23 April 2021 | Written by RNZ | Published in Fiji, Regional

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Restrictions on movement in Fiji due to Covid-19 threat
Dr James Fong Photo: Fiji Govt

Fiji's main island of Viti Levu has been issued with a restricted movement order amid the threat of more Covid-19 cases in the community.

The Health Ministry said the new restrictions take effect local time from 7pm today until 4am on Monday.

Health Secretary Dr James Fong is urging people to stay at home during this time.

This comes after confirmation of five cases of Covid-19 in the community over the past week.

Dr Fong warned if these protocols are ignored and there are more cases of Covid-19 then the government will be forced to recommend a lockdown for the capital Suva, Nausori and Lami.

Meanwhile, a massive contact tracing exercise is underway.

The ministry said contact-tracing had already been undertaken in Nadi and Lautoka.

According to Dr Fong, government officials and volunteers visited every home in Tavakubu, Lautoka, on Friday.

Equipped with masks and gloves, he said the contact tracing teams interviewed and took samples from people living in Kashmir, Link and Kermode roads.

Dr Fong has requested members of the public to support and cooperate with fever screening teams that will be visiting them.

"When my teams are in your community, please be honest with them about how you are feeling and where you have been," Dr Fong said during a press conference on Friday.

"They know what they are doing - they have been through this before.

"Trust them. Support them. Cooperate with them. If they are in your community, they are there because they care about keeping you safe.

"I can tell you we would all prefer to be at home with our families. Instead, we are defending yours.

"That is our duty. That is what we will do every hour of every day to keep this virus from claiming Fijian lives."

The Lautoka Residents and Ratepayers Association said residents should co-operate with the contact tracing teams.

Its acting president Narayan Reddy said now is the time for Fijians to work together because this is a very cost-draining exercise.

He said people need to be forthcoming and co-operate with the authorities.

Dr Fong said the ministry had the capacity to carry out 600 Covid-19 tests per day.

Fiji now has had 86 Covid-19 cases, 19 active (five in the conmmunity and 14 in border quarantine) with 65 recovered and two deaths reported.