Fiji tightens anti-Covid measures

by IANS |

Suva, Jan 10 (IANS) The Fijian government has tightened measures to contain spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant in the South Pacific island country.

Addressing reporters here, Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya said that with a rapid spread of the Omicron variant confirmed in the country, the key measures against the virus should be tightened to contain its transmission, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to the Minister, people who fail to comply with the health protocols will face fines from Monday.

Koya said those who fail to wear a mask in the required settings will be fined 250 Fijian dollars ($117).

For failing to conduct temperature checks, the fine for individuals will be 250 Fijian dollars and 1,000 Fijian dollars for businesses.

High-risk businesses failing to verify vaccination status will face 1,000 Fijian dollars in fine.

Among other measures to be strengthened From Monday, group gatherings in homes, communities, and community halls will be limited to 20 persons.

Koya said the authorities will not hesitate to fine people or shut down businesses, including hotels, if necessary.

The Minister also urged Fijians to take the booster shots.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary for Health Ministry James Fong reported five new deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of Covid deaths to 709.

With 1,280 new confirmed cases, the island nation's infection tally to 57,187.

Currently, 94.2 per cent of the adult target population in Fiji are fully vaccinated, while 97.9 per cent have received at least one dose.

Fiji, which has a population of around 900,000, reported its first confirmed coronavirus infection in March 2020.

It was hit by the second wave in April last year.

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