SUVA (FBC NEWS) — Fiji cannot afford a total lockdown as it could lead to starvation.

This comes as Fiji health authorities confirm the presence of the double mutating B1617 variant, which has been causing havoc in India and other parts of the world.

Even before this variant was confirmed, many Fijians, particularly in the Suva-Nausori corridor have been asking for a total lock down.

However, Health Ministry Permanent Secretary, Doctor James Fong, said a total lockdown will have severe repercussions.

“We can ask for a total lockdown, yes. There is another small part to this equation, if I lock you down and you have no access to food, and you can’t eat, what will happen? You will get angry, you will say I don’t care about this virus and you will leave your home and you will break the law, then you will end up with too many people in jail and we back again to square one”.

Doctor Fong said he has been asked numerous questions, on how people could move from one containment area to another.

Dr Fong said the Health Ministry has made it clear they are in the business of stamping out COVID-19 and saving lives.

He stressed this as some businesses and organisations are seeking exemptions from the containment measures.

Dr Fong said the Ministry understands this is a tough time for many businesses however, restrictions have been designed to stop the spread of the virus.

“Not every policy will make everybody happy. But the spirit behind them is perfectly clear: We have to keep Fiji safe. We have to limit movement. We have to stop every unnecessary person-to-person interaction possible.”

The Permanent Secretary said now is not the time to go looking for loopholes.

He said Fijians must protect themselves and their family by denying the virus any opportunity to spread…. PACNEWS

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