Editorial comment – A reminder for us all

FILE PHOTO: The word "COVID-19" is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken November 9, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration//File Photo

The announcement yesterday of three new border quarantine cases of COVID-19 by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services will attract attention.

In fact, it should ensure we stay vigilant. According to the ministry, the first two cases are Fijian citizens both in their 40s who worked in a mining company in Mali, travelling home on a flight from New Zealand on November 19.

Both displayed minor symptoms on arrival.

The third case, according to the ministry, is a 51-year-old male non-Fiji citizen who arrived with his family in Nadi on the same day, on the same New Zealand flight, originally travelling in from Germany.

Returning to complete contract employment in Fiji, he is asymptomatic and is isolated from his family.

The ministry maintains border quarantine cases continue to pose zero risk to the Fijian public.

The latest revelation should serve as fair warning for us all about the impact of COVID-19 and that it is still around.

We are buoyed by the fact that we are in containment mode as a nation.

That does not mean though, that we can afford to be complacent.

In fact, it should motivate us to maintain the status quo.

For Fijians, that means continuing to adhere to social distancing rules.

We are reminded that on the international front, CNN for instance, believes US COVID-19 cases could reach 20 million by inauguration day on January 20.

That’s according to a new modelling forecast from the Washington University in St. Louis.

The US could also start distributing doses of a COVID-19 vaccine soon after December 10, the Health and Human Services secretary said, CNN reported.

Media reports point at AstraZeneca suggesting its experimental coronavirus vaccine developed with the University of Oxford had shown an average efficacy of 70 per cent in large-scale trials.

Back on the home front though, we are reminded about how good we have it right now. We are able to do a lot of things many countries around the world are not able to.

It makes sense though that we should be vigilant and proactive.

It makes sense then that we should be critically analysing what we must do as individuals to assist in keeping the big picture, to keep our nation safe.

We are fortunate that our border controls and processes are identifying cases and we are able to immediately isolate them, ensuring our people are safe.

For that, we acknowledge all those who are working on our frontlines. We say thank you.

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