COVID-19: Narube – Huge gaps in Fiji’s defence; carriers free to move

Widespread testing for COVID-19 should be considered by Government, says former Reserve Bank governor and Unity Fiji party leader Savenaca Narube as he called on Government to find more money for widespread testing.

He said the new cases revealed huge gaps in Fiji’s defence as it allowed the carriers of the virus to move freely around the country for more than one week.

He also said Fiji must plan for the worst.

“Being optimistic will cost our families dearly,” he said.

“We must take strong actions now.

“Trying to catch up later will be a big mistake as we have seen in some countries around the world.”

He said the strategy of widespread testing was used to effectively fight against COVID-19 in countries such as South Korea and Singapore.

“We are months into this war, but we are still not clear of the strategy that Government is using to fight this battle,” he said.

“They have adopted this strategy for two main reasons — first, to more accurately determine the full extent of the infection and treat those affected very quickly; and second, to immediately identify those not infected and allow them to return to work as soon as practicable thus minimising the impact of COVID-19 on the economies and their livelihoods.

“And these countries are winning the war.”

Mr Narube said lockdowns would be more effective if widespread testing was done.

“Fiji, we seem to have adopted a strategy of voluntary isolation, shutdowns and selective testing.

“Voluntary isolation, as the recent cases have shown, is not effective.

“There are people that do not show symptoms but are carrying the virus.”