We cel­e­brate, with cau­tion ob­serv­ing ‘new nor­mal’

Fiji Sun - - EXPLAINER - Jy­oti Prat­i­bha Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

If Fiji does not have any more con­firmed cases of COVID-19, in 13 days we are ex­pected to de­clare the na­tion virus free.

If Fiji does not have any more con­firmed cases of coro­n­avirus dis­ease (COVID-19), in 13 days we are ex­pected to de­clare the na­tion COVID-19 free.

As of to­day, 14 out of our 18 cases have re­cov­ered.

Those who are yet to recover in­clude the Nadera busi­ness­man who was our case four, our case six who is the hair­dresser from Suva, his child and case 18 the woman from Ba.

The to­tal re­cov­er­ies bring our re­cov­ery rate to 78 per cent.

The lock­down re­stric­tions put in place in Soa­soa in Labasa and Nabua, out­side Suva have been lifted.

What does this mean for us?

Fiji has done well in con­tain­ing the cases, if any new cases do come up, it could be from those who have re­cently re­turned from overseas and are cur­rently in Gov­ern­ment paid iso­la­tion where they are ex­pected to be for a to­tal of 28 days. If any­one there is found to be pos­i­tive, the risk of trans­mis­sion to oth­ers is rel­a­tively low since the con­fir­ma­tion would have come whilst the pa­tient was in iso­la­tion. If none are con­firmed, we have some rea­sons to cel­e­brate.

But, it has been con­tin­u­ously stressed by the Head of Gov­ern­ment Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama, this does not mean life is back to nor­mal. The nor­mal that we are used to is not what is ex­pected of ev­ery in­di­vid­ual cur­rently in Fiji.

We will need to con­tinue to take pre­cau­tions at a per­sonal level.

This means continuing the prac­tice of hand wash­ing for 20 sec­onds, sneez­ing or cough­ing in our el­bows and not un­der­tak­ing un­nec­es­sary trav­els.

Our cel­e­bra­tion is only for the joy of re­cov­ery. The eco­nomic im­pacts of this pan­demic will con­tinue to be felt far and wide. Many busi­nesses are still fig­ur­ing out how long our bor­ders would re­main closed, how long be­fore tourists would start com­ing back. It would not be for a very long time. Our main tourist coun­tries are still fight­ing the bat­tle against COVID-19. This is where the continuing fo­cus on our agri­cul­ture sec­tor is very im­por­tant.

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