Editorial comment – We have to fight this

Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong. Picture: FIJIAN GOVT

So our health infrastructure is “strained” as a result of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. This is the harsh reality we face now, according to a statement by Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong.

He made the comment in response to queries about a video shared on social media by a woman who claimed to be a COVID-19 positive patient at an isolation facility in Suva.

“There is a lot of strain on infrastructure right now,” he said.

As our report on Page 2 today points out, the woman claimed there was only one toilet shared by both men and women. She claimed the toilet was “filthy” and was hardly cleaned.

In a shocking revelation, the woman also showed a corpse draped in a white sheet and claimed the deceased was left overnight in the same tent she was being kept in.

Dr Fong said he had spoken to the Fiji Police Force forensic team to allow the deceased to be immediately taken to the morgue.

What we are going through now was expected.

We cannot say we did not see this coming.

The question now is where did we falter?

How did we get to this stage?

Why did we allow ourselves to be in such a serious and frightening situation?

Our numbers are seriously high. It’s a major talking point. It is frightening Fijians. It’s a sad reflection of how we have handled the pandemic, and how some decisions we made during this second wave are probably coming back to haunt us.

With things appearing to be spiralling out of control, we must take the initiative and fight this as a nation.

Let’s unite please! Let’s do the little things right, today!

Stay home as much as possible. If you must travel to go to the supermarket or to work, or to the pharmacy, wear a mask. Do not touch your face at all, even if you have an itchy nose! Wash your hand first, or use a hand sanitiser before you touch your face. When you do get back home, remove all clothing and have a bath or wash.

If you must stand in line, keep a good distance from the next person, and if someone is too close, politely  tell them to back off.

Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use a hand sanitiser. Sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue and dispose of this thoughtfully, safely.

We are friendly people naturally. However, please do not shake a hand! No hugging please!

Be vigilant when travelling on public transport, and keep away from crowded places.

Our numbers are too high. Let’s fight this together as a nation. Let’s remind ourselves. Let’s remind our loved ones. Let’s remind our friends. Listen to advice from health experts and follow them strictly. It may just save a life.

Again, we acknowledge every frontliner on the field. Thank you for the work you do daily. Thank you for the sacrifices you make daily. We know it is tough. We know you miss your loved ones. We acknowledge your work and say thank you. Together Fiji, forward!

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