COVID-19: Fiji’s Health Ministry has so far spent about $10m in response efforts

Police officers man the border entry at Delainavesi when Suva went into lockdown. Picture: FT FILE

Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services has so far spent close to $10million on its COVID-19 response efforts and operations.

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said noting that other government agencies were also supporting the ministry in its containment and response efforts, the cost could be more than $10m.

“So far we’ve done nearly $10m but again some of that money had been given by government before we even had the mini-budget,” Dr Waqainabete said.

“As I’ve said, heading up to the mini-budget, we’ve gone through at least $3m.

“We have to remember that all other government agencies that come and support the work that we do, their ministries are also supporting us so indirectly it probably is much, much more than that.

“For example, we’re using some vehicles from other agencies and also their drivers that they’ve been able to offer to us for the work that we do and they’re paying for it.

“Also remember we have secondment and liaison officers who come over to us.”

Fiji now has 15 cases of COVID-19, 20 days after recording its first case on March 19.

(Editor’s note: This article was published in The Fiji Times on Wednesday, April 08, 2020)

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