Editorial comment – All for one, one for all

Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary, Dr. James Fong. Picture: FIJIAN GOVERNMENT

Every night for the past few weeks, we have been hearing permanent secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong pleading with us to stay home.

If you do not have a reason to go out, then just stay home, he says. If you do have a valid reason to go out, then please put on a mask.

However, the best course of action, if we are to contain the virus, or suppress it, is for us to stay home.

Dr Fong and Dr Aalisha Sahukhan were emotional towards the end of last week when they announced our latest death due to COVID-19.

You could sense it in their voices, and see it in their body language.

It should have inched out emotional responses from the masses.

Unfortunately though many would have missed this because it was one of those days when the media weren’t invited to a briefing.

It is clear that we have passionate people at the helm of our heath campaign.

Yet in the face of that commitment sits a rather troubling scenario.

Out of the 86 cases recorded yesterday, 54 were people who breached health restrictions, says Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu.

He said another 32 cases were related to curfew breaches.

In the Western Division, there were 25 cases, where 11 people breached the curfew orders and 14 did not comply with health restrictions.

Of the 40 cases in the Southern Division, 15 people breached curfew orders and 25 cases were recorded for breaching health restrictions.

The Eastern Division recorded 13 cases including six cases for curfew breach and seven people were found not complying with health restrictions.

Of the eight cases recorded in the Northern Division, no one was found to have breached curfew orders.

Going back to Friday, two people were arrested for not wearing masks while travelling in a public vehicle in Levuka.

There were also two alcohol-related cases recorded in Levuka.

ACP Tudravu said 53 people were arrested over a 24-hour period on Saturday for breaching curfew hours and health restrictions.

People were caught loitering, breaching curfew rules, and there was a driver who had no official curfew pass taking passengers.

Now if that wasn’t enough, nine people were caught drinking kava and a host of others were arrested drinking alcohol. Let’s not kid ourselves that we are immune from this virus.

More developed nations are struggling to cope with the pandemic.

Their hospitals are stretched to the limit.

Their doctors are overworked, tired and emotionally challenged daily. Many doctors are even deciding who gets to live and who will die in many hospitals.

This is serious business. Fiji needs the support of every Fijian to fight this virus.

We have curfews and a lockdown for a reason.

Let’s encourage each other.

Let’s motivate each other to follow physical distancing rules.

Let’s encourage each other to stay safely within our own bubbles.

Let’s do the right thing, for ourselves, our loved ones, and for our nation.

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