Far from over – Prepare for long battle, warns Dr Fong

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Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary, Dr. James Fong, Picture: JONA KONATACI/FILE

HEALTH Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong says Fijians should be prepared for a long battle to contain COVID-19.

At a news conference last night, where he announced two doctors as Fiji’s latest COVID-positive cases, Dr Fong said health teams were prepared for a containment strategy “that lasts months” and “every Fijian must be ready as well”.

He said the ministry would continue to assess risk to “define our ongoing containment strategy”.

“It has been 15 days since the confirmation of the case that sparked the outbreak we face today, and I’m worried that too many of us think this containment effort will play out on a relatively similar timeline,” he said.

“I very much doubt that it will. It could end soon – I hope it does. But the data is telling us a different story.

“We are not up against an identical enemy this time around, the chains of transmission are more widespread and the variant is more transmissible.

“The risks are greater, and our response must be more decisive.”

Fiji now has 51 positive cases.