Lockdown ‘must work’, says Fong

Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary, Dr. James Fong. Picture: FIJIAN GOVERNMENT

Authorities must ensure an enforced 14 or 21-day lockdown produces tangible results because of the hardship the public will endure, says Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong.

He made the comment during a news conference this week in response to queries on how he was balancing the economic hardship and escalating community case numbers.

Dr Fong said a consultation process had to be done to ensure they balanced the two sides of the issue.

“If we call for a lockdown, a severe lockdown that goes for say 14 days to 21 days, the public
will expect that severe lockdown must work,” he said.

“There is no chance that it cannot work because of the suffering that they will endure. They say OK, it must work.”

He said problems could arise if people ran out of food or water, or if an urgent matter made staying home impossible and those issues would have to be sorted before a severe lockdown could be implemented.

“Therefore, it has to be a planned process, it cannot be just something that we throw in just immediately.

“It’s been done before in other countries, they have a nice plan process, they have food delivery services, they have various other services that are in place before they can make it happen.

“So that’s the kind of processing or planning that we are currently indulging in to see how we can evolve so that we have options.”

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