Editorial comment – We know what must be done

Adi Aseri Qoro busy at the vaccination drive through at Albert Park in Suva on Friday, December 31, 2021. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

When our number of COVID-19 positive cases rose, we expected some changes in the rules.

In fact we all should have expected that.

It was coming anyway.

Now that we are into the third wave of the pandemic here in Fiji, these are issues that we can’t shrug aside.

Given the rate of community transmission, we should expect tough measures.

To contain the virus, and effectively fight it, there has to be a co-ordinated campaign that draws all our efforts in a united front.

There is obvious anger and frustration in many quarters coming in the wake of the sudden announcement that the Omicron variant is already in the community.

How that happened and when that happened are questions that are being asked.

That’s for the powers that be to ponder on and answer.

We are told that from today, other event venues seeking to host functions, but which do not have formal approval or certification to host events, must become Care Fiji Commitment certified to do so.

Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya made this point.

Informal gatherings in homes, communities, and community halls, he said, should be limited to 20 persons from today.

Venues that had been approved to operate under COV- ID-safe measures and or which require Care Fiji Commitment certification — including places of worship and restaurants — could host events, including weddings and other functions, at 80 per cent capacity.

He said it was impossible for the Government to effectively regulate all informal spaces to ensure maskwearing, distancing, and other COVID-safe practices.

“In order for us to continue to have our children learning in their schools and for our people to continue working in their jobs, we have to mitigate the risks that emanate from our informal settings,” he said.

So now there are enforcement fines and penalties.

However, in saying that, we really should be engaged and play our part.

We realise there is frustration.

But we can either rue our misfortune, get angry and frustrated, or we could all just knuckle down, and do the little things right.

We already know what must be done. We know why the rules are there in the first place.

We know the benefits of adhering to COVID-safe measures.

It’s really up to us now to do the right thing.

Upon reflection, we know the negative impact of rising numbers.

We know how it impacted thousands of Fijians when the second wave struck in April last year.

We know thousands of families are still suffering, and have difficulty putting food on their table.

There are decisions that must be made moving forward.

We know what to do!

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