Seruiratu: ‘Human behaviour and human rights’ biggest challenge against COVID-19 fight

Minister for Rural and Maritime Development Inia Seruiratu speaking in Parliament. Picture: PARLIAMENT OF FIJI

Minister for Defence, National Security and Policing, Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu says Fiji’s biggest challenge in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is “human behaviour and human rights”.

He made the comment yesterday in his parliamentary contribution to the 2021-2022 National Budget announcement.

He said despite collective national efforts against the virus and the projection for recovery, it continued to be challenged by increasing misinformation, and disputing and discrediting vaccination efforts that was a critical prerequisite for safeguarding all Fijians.

He added these were worsened by “lies and propaganda”.

“We must realiase that we are not in normal times and our collective security takes precedence over our individual rights,” Mr Seruiratu said.

“This is again one of the biggest challenges for Fiji now. It is not so much the virus, it is about human behaviour and human rights.”

He said collective security was a collective and shared responsibility.

“Our complacency and disobedience is perhaps the greatest security threats to our hope to contain this virus and return our lives to normalcy.

“We cannot win this fight if we do not play our part in this battle. Everyone needs to play their parts – parents, community leaders, village elders, chiefs, churches, and most importantly every individual Fijian needs to wake up and realise this pandemic is very much real and not some sort of conspiracy theories being spread on social media by some overnight experts.”

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