$25m to assist coronavirus fight in Fiji

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Fiji’s Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete pictured with part of his team that have been designated in the Suva area to help in containment efforts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This picture was posted along the Minister’s tweet this evening – Thursday, April 02, 2020. Picture: TWITTER/DR IFEREIMI WAQAINABETE

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has been given $25million as contingency fund in the 2020-2021 National Budget.

The ministry had developed a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan and received additional funding in the 2020-2021 National Budget to support Fiji’s nationwide response to the global pandemic.

“Allocations assigned under this budget are targeted at Fiji’s public health response as well as efforts to mitigate the economic impact of the global COVID-19 recession,” the budget estimates stated.

Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said in his budget address that had it not been for Government’s decisive actions, Fiji’s most vulnerable citizens could be among the hundreds of thousands dead or dying from COVID-19.

“Our COVID-19 Response Budget, which we announced one week after our first case, allocated all the resources we could muster to beating the virus and bracing for a historic financial blow.

“Of course, this meant a complete reordering of priorities and the postponement of some important projects.”

“But it was unavoidable. Any other path would have been irresponsible and unsustainable,” he said.

He said Fiji was a COVID-contained country.

“Families in Fiji are safe, and our record on testing ranks ahead of the rest of the world, right alongside New Zealand and Australia.”