New Nor­mal a New Re­al­ity as We Con­tinue Our COVID-19 Jour­ney into the Fu­ture

Fiji Sun - - COMMENT - Down­load the careFIJI app to­day. NEMANI DELAIBATIK­I Feed­back: nemani.delaibatik­i@fi­

Fiji is one of a few coun­tries lead­ing the way in en­sur­ing that we keep

COVID-19 at bay. Af­ter 64 straight days of no new case and no death we have now en­tered phase two.

As an­nounced by

Prime Min­is­ter

Voreqe Bain­i­marama yes­ter­day some re­stric­tions have been re­laxed. The re­open­ing of the border to

New Zealand and

Australian tourists with strict con­di­tions and the launch of the careFIJI App to make con­tact trac­ing eas­ier and safer are two sig­nif­i­cant items in the

PM’s state­ment.

The border is­sue about tourists is con­di­tional on Aus­tralia and New Zealand open­ing their bor­ders to their na­tion­als want­ing to hol­i­day in Fiji and the Pa­cific. Th­ese tourists must have pa­pers to show that they are COVID-19 free and had been quar­an­tined for 14 days. Cur­rently both coun­tries have con­firmed cases of the virus

So we have to be ex­tra vig­i­lant at the border.

The new app will help to keep us safer

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Bain­i­marama, it is a pow­er­ful new tool that al­lows us to no­tify users if they are ex­posed to the coro­n­avirus. This App forms the foun­da­tion of Phase Two of our re­cov­ery, and of the new nor­mal we’re work­ing to cre­ate.

Mr Bain­i­marama says the prac­tice of con­tact trac­ing was crit­i­cal to Fiji’s suc­cess in break­ing the chains of COVID-trans­mis­sion. But much of that ef­fort led by our con­tact trac­ing teams re­lied on peo­ple’s mem­o­ries.

The onus is on all of us to get this App and use it . careFIJI uses Blue­tooth tech­nol­ogy on our phones to make con­tact trac­ing much faster and more ac­cu­rate. It’s built on the very same tech­nol­ogy that both Sin­ga­pore and Aus­tralia have used to launch their own con­tact-trac­ing apps.

Mr Bain­i­marama says if used by enough peo­ple, this will “break the chain” in a faster, more high­ly­tar­geted way. This would al­low Fiji to limit the need for broader pub­lic health mea­sures, like lock­downs.

The re­sump­tion of some ac­tiv­i­ties like sports, movie s in cin­ema and in­crease of church con­gre­ga­tion size to 50 per cent of the ca­pac­ity are wel­come but there is a strong warn­ing that we must take all the nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions at the same time.

This is the new nor­mal.

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