‘Omicron likely not the last variant of concern’

Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong. Picture: RAMA

The Omicron variant is likely not the last variant of concern, says Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong.

“I want to be clear that even without Omicron, we were expecting a third wave because this is what has been observed in other countries,” Dr Fong said.

“But I would also find it inhumane, impractical, and unnecessary to force people into lockdown when we know that lockdowns do not work well against highlytransmissible variants.”

In his press statement yesterday, Dr Fong reiterated the ministry’s two pillars of approach.

“One is vaccination, including boosters. We must all get two doses, plus a booster as soon as we are eligible –– that is five months after the second dose.

“The second is prudence. We must continue to use proven, good commonsense measures to limit the spread.

“We must get back to the basics of COVID-safety.”

Dr Fong said the ministry continued to record lower than expected hospitalisations due to COV- ID-19 despite the current resurgence in COVID-19 cases throughout Fiji.

There are now 1280 new COVID-19 cases in Fiji.

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