RFMF has a different version of the initial COVID19 outbreak: Seruiratu

Minister for Defence Inia Seruiratu has told the Fijian Parliament he welcomes further investigations into the initial outbreak of the second wave of COVID19 in Fiji – saying the RFMF has a different version.

“Unfortunately, the RFMF has been blamed for the initial outbreak. We welcome further investigations to that,” Seruiratu said, “And I think the commander RFMF has already pleaded with the Minister for Health to conduct a thorough investigation. Because they have done their investigation, and the evidence that they have, tells a different story.”

Seruiratu was reacting to comments made by some opposition members in parliament in which they described frontliners, particularly military and naval officers, as having caused the initial outbreak and collectively, were super-spreaders.

Opposition and SODELPA member Litia Qionibaravi pointed to recently reported cases, saying that it underlined her assertion with frontliners’ contributing a significant number in daily COVID19 cases. Seruiratu also called out Lynda Tabuya and Simi Rasova for describing frontliners as “super-spreaders.”

Seruiratu said the stance taken by some of the opposition is unfair and unacceptable, demanding that MOH carries out an investigation into the initial outbreak to settle the matter.

“Why specifically picking on the military, and the navy. You don’t understand the environment they operate in. They operate in teams. When one is down, it’s the whole team that has the high chances of getting infected because they operate in teams. They don’t operate individually. The basic formation of a soldier unit is 10 men, a section, ships they have ship crews. They are in the unit. So when sailor is affected, the whole crew is affected, the chances of them being affected because they operate in teams. Let’s be fair when we want to make accusations, about how this virus is spreading, particularly on the frontliners.

“The military has demanded that a thorough investigation be done because the military soldier that was involved, initially blamed he became a scapegoat in all these. The evidence is there that it’s otherwise. As Minister responsible, I don’t take that lightly. I wish to speak on behalf of the commander and the chief of the Navy and the police, that it is unacceptable. We need to get to the bottom of this.”

Photo: File Photo

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