Fijian actual PM stresses importance of country's moving forward despite COVID-19

Source: Xinhua| 2021-11-14 14:07:28|Editor: huaxia

SUVA, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Fiji's Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Inia Seruiratu stressed on Sunday the importance of the country's moving forward despite COVID-19 which has caused huge losses to the island nation's economy.

According to Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC), Seruiratu said in Nadi, Fiji's third largest city, that there are risks in opening up Fiji's international borders, however the Fijian government has a plan to minimize such risks.

Seruiratu said that preparing for these risks is critical as Fiji continues to move forward with recovery efforts.

"The government is doing its best to create the environment so that we can move forward, so that we can prepare our people better, so that things can happen and of course the betterment of the people and the country."

While the tourism industry and the business sector are looking forward to travellers coming in, they are also cautious, he said, adding that the private sector plays a vital role in preparing the island nation for a better albeit unpredictable future.

According to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) Arif Ali, the island nation has lost almost 4 billion Fijian dollars (about 1.9 billion U.S. dollars) in foreign reserves in the last two years due to the impact of COVID-19.

Fiji has in recent days re-opened its international borders for fully vaccinated travellers. From Nov. 11 to Dec. 1, Fiji will only accept fully vaccinated permit holders, Fijian passport holders, returning residents and travellers approved by the COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Taskfor (CRMT). These travellers will be required to undertake a three-day quarantine in a Fiji Managed Quarantine (FMQ) facility and will be subject to RT-PCR tests 72 hours pre-departure and in-country.

From Dec. 1, Fiji will be open to all fully vaccinated travellers from travel partner countries including New Zealand, Australia, Britain and the United States.

Currently, a total of 89.5 percent of eligible Fijians have been fully vaccinated.

Fiji reported its first confirmed COVID-19 case on March 19 last year and the second wave started in April this year.

The island nation, which has a population of around 900,000, now has recorded more than 52,000 COVID-19 confirmed cases in total, with 679 deaths.

Fiji's Health Ministry official has warned of a possible third wave of COVID-19 in the island nation, and Fijians have also been urged to take all measures to protect themselves and those around them. Enditem