Editorial comment – Let’s do this Fiji

Part of the frontline workers stationed at the Qauia vaccination site and checkpoint. Picture: FIJI GOVT/FACEBOOK

When the permanent secretary for Health and Medical Services Ministry Dr James Fong announced 1180 new cases of COVID-19 for the 24-hour period that ended at 8am on Saturday, it would have been met by great concern.

A full breakdown of areas of interest, he said, would be published online on the Ministry’s COVID-19 dashboard and on the Fijian Government Facebook page.

We were expected to view the approximate locations of the new cases on the dashboard by yesterday on a given link.

We were also informed about five new COVID-19 deaths for the period of July 13 to July 16.

Whatever we are getting now is of great concern.

If any Fijian is not concerned right now then something is definitely wrong somewhere.

Is it perhaps dangerous then to assume that everyone has access to a mobile phone with data?

Is information going where it is meant to be going to?

Are we being fair, timely, and consistent in the dissemination of information to the masses?

These will go straight back to the powers that be to ponder on.

Perhaps we should also consider the fact that there will always be people who will not adhere to safety advice for reasons of their own.

The challenge is with the powers that be to consider this as part of their greater strategy.

Right now we seem to have an issue with the timing of the dissemination of information to the masses.

We lack consistency.

So the question is, are we getting through to the masses?

There are definitely many Fijians who are still not wearing their masks properly for starters.

There are still many Fijians sharing cigarettes at corner stores in public view.

Many are still walking about in public without masks and many are not wearing them properly.

Even in centres for swabs, for instance, there are people not adhering to physical distancing.

So how do we engage with them?

How do we get every Fijian to value expert health advice?

A concerted effort must be made to engage every Fijian on every available platform.

We need every Fijian to focus on a plan to get out of this very dangerous and frightening scenario we have before us.

The numbers are staggering.

They are rising every night.

There are frightened people out there.

There is great concern.

We need some direction and a time-frame to get out of this current predicament we are facing.

To the masses, please adhere to every COVID-19 safety advice.

Stay home if you have to.

Wear a mask every time you venture out in public.

Keep a good distance from the next person, and avoid crowded places.

For now, if you are aware, pass on the message to your loved ones, your family members and friends.

The more people we can engage to do the right thing, the better it will be for us all.

Together Fiji, please!

And let’s do this from today!

To every frontliner, we say thank you for the work you do.

We acknowledge the trying times, the many challenges you face and the time you spend away from loved ones.

We value your work daily.

Vinaka!

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