COVID-19 Fiji: Risk of children being exposed ‘minimal’

Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong stresses a point during the joint press conference between Ministry of Tourism and Police yesterday. Picture: RAMA

Children have minimal risk of being infected with COVID-19 because the type of receptors in the nose of a child “is much less”, says Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong.

He said this was the advice given to the ministry by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Dr Fong said because of this physical attribute, the risk of children being exposed to COVID-19 was “minimal”.

“I think we need to understand that education is important,” Dr Fong said.

“I have said that we need to protect that space. It means there will be plenty of things that we will allow to happen in that space.

“If we make sure that the space around it is well protected, that space becomes a no-risk space.”

Dr Fong said the ministry had escalated its ability to be able to dish out punitive measures on those who disobeyed the mandates they had implemented.

“We have announced a few of the other conditions for business houses that they have to comply with. We try to create a safe zone so that those two spaces remain as least disturbed as possible.”

Dr Fong said UNICEF had clearly defined that the type of receptors in the nose of children “is much less”.

“The receptors that are required for viruses to get on and infect them are much less than that around them.”

Dr Fong said Fijians needed to maintain COVID-19 protocols to ensure “zero risk”.

“That is in the hands of every individual, the parents and those around our children.”

More Stories