Self-isolate immediately: Health to those who travelled into non-containment zones

No new COVID19 cases were recorded today, Fiji’s Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong said in a national address in which he also pleaded with people who had travelled into non-containment zones from containment areas to self-isolate for 14 days for the sake of their loved ones, their families and their communities.

The ministry has a record of people who had done so contrary to directives and is banking on their support, their family members, their neighbours and members of their communities to ensure that the 14-self-isolation period is observed immediately.

“We are tracking these people as best we can – it is vital they all self-isolate immediately,” Dr Fong said.

“My teams are stretched very thin at the moment. But even if they all had every hour of the day available –– that is still not enough time to send them into every home and community to make doubly sure our measures are being enforced. We are giving you –– the members of the public –– the information about how this virus spreads. We are telling you what each of you can do to stop it. That knowledge is our advantage, and God has given each of us the good sense to put that knowledge into practice. Those good choices rest with you.

Let me put that in personal terms. This weekend is Mother’s Day. If you live at home with your mother or grandmother, she is in your bubble, and you are in her bubble. If you leave the house to see friends, all of those people you see and speak with add to your bubble, making it bigger. The bigger the bubble, the bigger the risk. Not only for you but for every other person who shares your bubble with you. So, when you come back home after meeting with friends and you interact with your mother or grandmother again, her bubble gets bigger too. Her risk of infection increases because, essentially, you are bringing all of those people you saw back home with you. Because if even one of your friends passed the virus to you, you can then pass it to your mother or grandmother, someone who is vulnerable.” 

PS Health Dr James Fong

Dr Fong reiterates that the containment zone travelling window is meant for displaced individuals in containment areas who wish to return to their respective homes, provided that home is within a containment zone.

“The fact of the matter is, we have measures in force that can work extremely well, but they only work if they are respected by everyone.”

He also reminded the public of the nature of the virus and the devastating consequences if COVID19 measures are not adhered to.

“We are dealing with a virus that can travel from person to person through small droplets. It can also travel through the air over short distances. There are many thoughtless ways this virus can spread to us. A shared cigarette, a short session of grog, a quick kiss, a short hug –– even a handshake. All of these are opportunities for COVID to spread to more of us, infect more of us, and fill our ICUs with more ill patients. The more of us adhere to our restrictions and respect our measures, the more lives we’ll save.” 

There are currently six containment areas across Viti Levu: Nadi, Lautoka, Rakiraki, Nausori, Suva and Lami.

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