Media Releases

PS Karan Receives Farewell Courtesy Call from Ambassador Omura (Tuesday, 24 November 2020)

Prime Minister Bainimarama receives farewell courtesy call from Japanese Ambassador (Wednesday, 25 November 2020)

Fiji Day Message by His Excellency Ambassador Isikeli U. Mataitoga (The Japan News)

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Fiji Day Message by His Excellency Ambassador Isikeli U. Mataitoga (The Japan Times)

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Statement from the Acting Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Tuesday, 1 September 2020 – COVID19

Bula Vinaka.

Today we are announcing one new border quarantine case of COVID-19, a 25-year-old female nursing officer. She contracted the virus while treating one of our other border quarantine cases in an isolation unit.

We are considering this case a “border quarantine case” because this nurse never entered a public space after contracting the virus. As per protocol, she worked and lived in the isolation centre, with exactly zero contact with the public. She then entered a Fijian Government quarantine facility –– again, without ever interacting with anyone from the public. After developing symptoms while in quarantine, she was tested. After she returned a positive result for COVID-19, she was admitted to the isolation ward at Nadi Hospital where she is recovering well. In fact, her symptoms have since dissipated.
 
Her fellow isolation unit nursing colleagues and medical officers on rotation have all returned negative results. Out of an abundance of caution, even though they never interacted directly with this patient, all relevant frontline health, hotel staff and military personnel have been swabbed for the virus and tested negative.
 
Around the world, rates of infection among healthcare staff are among highest of any group. As nearby as New Zealand, during the month of April, one in ten cases are recorded among healthcare workers. Even when every protocol is followed, even when Personal Protective Gear is employed properly, this unpredictable and unwieldy virus can still be transmitted.
 
Despite more than 3,000 patients held within our quarantine facilities, this is the first positive case confirmed among our staff working in our isolation facilities. But given what we’ve seen around the world, we are quite sure it won’t be the last. That is why we’ve structured an airtight operation system within our isolation facilities to ensure no risk to the general public –– I’d like to cover again exactly how those facilities function.
 
Our medical staff work these isolation facilities through a roster system, whereby they work and live in the isolation facility for 14 days, then go into quarantine in one of our government designated quarantine facility for 14 days. They must then register another negative COVID test result before they can rejoin their family. This is the most stringent system of isolation unit management in the world, more rigorous than both Australia and New Zealand.
 
Our healthcare staff all operate in appropriate personal protective equipment at all times. There is no shortage of these supplies in Fiji and our staff are well-trained in its use. We’re constantly reviewing and strengthening personal protection measures wherever we see an opportunity. However, as I’ve said, some risk will always remain due to the aggressively contagious nature of the virus. That is why we must always remain vigilant.
 
This will be our 11th border quarantine case. We currently now have two active cases in Lautoka and one in Nadi Hospital.
 
I know the stringent protocols we have in place are a great comfort to the Fijian people. But we must never forget nor take for granted the exceptional sacrifices these measures demand of our healthcare staff. There is nothing easy about living and working away from your family for four weeks at a time.


There is nothing easy about working to save a life while also mitigating the risk of further infection. And it takes nothing less than absolutely bravery to work in our isolation wards. The Fijians who do so are heroes –– full stop.

Our medical staff of orderlies, ward assistants, laboratory technicians, nurses and doctors have together with the members of our security forces (RFMF, Navy and Police) held the frontline since the COVID 19 battle begun. We have as a group have weathered criticism, we have endured hardships, we have seen and experienced social and emotional turmoil, but we will never surrender. We will always honour our duty to our people; to keep them healthy and safe –– and we will do so with vigilance, with courage and with compassion.
 
We have noted that several recent cases confirmed at the New Zealand border in Christchurch transited through Fiji while travelling from India to New Zealand. We want to assure the public that these individuals did not contract or transmit the virus while in Fiji. These individuals landed in Fiji, spent 30 minutes in Nadi Airport, interacted with no one, and then transited onwards to New Zealand.

Thank you.

Statement by the Acting Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong – Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Bula Vinaka and good afternoon. 
 
We all know the impacts of COVID-19 stretch far beyond the health sector alone. Our response requires a whole-of-government approach –– particularly when it comes to Fiji’s economic recovery. That’s why I’m here today alongside representatives from our COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Taskforce.
 
Our full CRMT team consists of the Permanent Secretary for Economy, myself, the Acting Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, and the Permanent Secretary for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport. We’ve also been working closely with other co-opted members of the taskforce, including the Permanent Secretary for Immigration, the Health Protection team, the Incident Management Team, and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Surveillance team.

As we have previously announced, we have securely confirmed border quarantine cases of COVID-19 among our citizens who are returning from overseas. These cases have not represented a risk to the public. Under the watchful eye of our disciplined forces, Fiji’s border is sealed, and the virus has not re-entered our communities.
 
However, I’m sad to report that another of these patients, a 61-year-old man, has passed away due to complications of COVID-19. The gentleman contracted the virus while in the United States. He arrived to Fiji from Sacramento, California on the 6th of August, where he was immediately entered into quarantine.
 
He developed symptoms of COVID-19 shortly after entering border quarantine and was transferred to the isolation unit at Nadi Hospital. When his condition worsened, he was transferred to the isolation unit at Lautoka hospital for specialized care. Despite the best efforts of our healthcare professionals he sadly passed away last night at the Lautoka Hospital Intensive Care Unit.
 
We at the Ministry of Health and Medical Services extend our deepest sympathies to his friends and family. We feel this loss across the Ministry, and his treating nurses and physicians mourn his passing most acutely. But we all take some solace in the fact that this gentleman was able to return to Fiji, and it is here he can be laid to rest –– in Fiji, his home.
 
Our Lautoka hospital colleagues have worked with the gentleman’s family to ensure funeral arrangements adhere to the necessary infection prevention and control protocols.
 
We had delayed announcement of this second fatality until the afternoon out of respect for the family’s wishes, as they requested that they be able to first hold this gentleman’s burial before they were thrust into the national spotlight. So, we were all shocked when the Fiji Sun jumped the gun with their report of his passing, even after we had specifically expressed to them to hold off for the sake of this gentleman’s loved ones. 
 
We are deeply disappointed with the Fiji Sun’s lack of ethics in this instance. No media organisation should let moral imperatives be overridden by the insatiable desire to “be first” in their reporting. These are sensitive issues that demand decency from all of us –– and it’s shameful that the Fiji Sun is more focussed on making headlines than on granting this family the privacy to mourn their loss.
 
In fact, it is more than just indecent. Such reckless reporting puts unfounded fear in our people’s hearts, as they learn of a fatality from this deadly virus without any of the proper context provided.
 
We hope never to see such irresponsibility repeated.

I want to assure every Fijian watching that this latest fatality –– while tragic –– does not pose a risk to the public. It has now been 129 days since Fiji has recorded a new case of COVID-19 in our communities. We aim to maintain that unbroken streak. All health staff directly involved with the care of this patient have adhered to strict infection prevention and control protocols. Each will undergo quarantine in a government designated facility and must clear a negative COVID test result to be released. 
 
As confirmed by our continual testing at the border and among the Fijian public, we are now one of the few countries –– if not the only country –– in the world to contend with an outbreak of the virus, contain that outbreak, and then go more than 100 days without a resurgence.
 
With over 23 million confirmed cases and 800,000 deaths from COVID-19 confirmed around the world, no one should take Fiji’s COVID-Contained status for granted. In our own neighbourhood, Australia –– and now New Zealand –– are both contending with new outbreaks of the virus, as are Papua New Guinea and French Polynesia.
 
In New Zealand’s case, given how effectively they stamped out their initial outbreak, their latest cluster of cases came as a surprise to all of us. But we are confident our Kiwi partners will act with the same decisiveness that served them so well in the past. We applaud New Zealand’s recent move to implement managed isolation for confirmed patients and mobilise the New Zealand Defence Force to enhance border security –– Fiji can attest these measures work.
 
New Zealand’s experience goes to show that Fijians cannot become complacent –– nor have we been. We have continued to test regularly for the virus in our communities and among our healthcare workers. All those tests have returned negative. Our testing positivity rate –– the single most important metric –– ranks among the lowest in the world at 0.4%.
 
On the technical side, we’ve been conducting exhaustive reviews of the guidelines within our Fijian COVID-Safe Economic Recovery Framework.
 
We’ve said from the start this a flexible framework that will evolve alongside our constantly changing global and local environment. Today, we’re announcing some amendments to Phase 2 of our COVID-Safe Economic Framework. These are mainly for the sake of consistency.
 
As per our last announcement, all gatherings are limited to 100 people. We’re amending that restriction, allowing for houses of worship, restaurants, cafes, entertainment venues, such as gaming centres, bars, pubs and conferences and meeting venues, swimming pools, common areas in boarding facilities, including weddings, funerals and other community gatherings to function at 50% capacity.
 
So, if a venue has a capacity for 500 people, it can now host up to 250 people. However, if a venue capacity is less than 200, it can continue to host events with 100 people or less. This applies to both indoor and outdoor facilities.
 
Up until now, we’ve been using the 50% capacity thresholds for sports stadiums. Just like with athletic events, these measures only work well when all Fijians take COVID Safe precautions.
 
That means we must maintain physical distance of 1.5 metres as much as possible; avoid shaking hands, kissing and hugging; queue responsibly; wash our hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser; cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of our elbows; and stay home if you’re feeling unwell.
 
Lastly –– and this is critically important –– please download the careFIJI contact tracing application. If you are organising an event, make sure everyone attending the event has careFIJI installed with the Bluetooth switched on. Seriously, when someone arrives, they should show that they have careFIJI on their phone. If not, they must manually sign in with someone at the front –– no exceptions.
 
We understand some nightclubs have sought to obtain a new business designation as taverns in the interest of re-opening their businesses. We fully appreciate that nightclub owners have seen a severe impact to their bottom-line due to our health restrictions –– but the reality is these businesses represent the highest-risk environments for the potential spread of the virus. 
 
Moving forward, any requests from nightclubs to seek new business designations will be approved on a case-by-case basis, with compulsory input from the Ministry of Health. Our teams need to ensure these venues can operate in a COVID-safe manner before any new designation can be considered and they can re-open their doors.
 
Globally, countries have introduced protocols for diplomatic travel. Fiji has allowed diplomats to return to Fiji on a case-by-case basis and we will continue to do so.
 
Valid permit holders may also be permitted to return to Fiji on a case-by-case basis. We are also selectively granting new permits on a case-by-case basis for individuals who possess specialised skills that aid Fiji’s COVID-safe economic recovery. Existing and new permit holders must apply to the Permanent Secretary for Immigration to enter Fiji.
 
All applications for returning diplomats and permit holders –– old and new –– are subject to vetting by the Ministry of Health.
 
Travel arrangements for all travellers entering Fiji are designed entirely around preserving public health and wellbeing. All individuals must clear a negative test result for the virus before boarding their flight –– something we call a pre-departure test. That test result must be reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Health before the traveller departs for Fiji. Some may be required to test again upon arrival based on assessment of risk by the Ministry of Health. These individuals must then spend at least 14 days in a government-designated quarantine facility. After the quarantine period, individuals must clear another negative COVID test result –– something we call a border quarantine exit test –– before entering the country.
 
Non-citizens will be required to bear all costs related to quarantine and testing. Our entry and testing requirements are detailed on the Fijian Government’s website.
 
As we’ve said before, we understand this pandemic’s economic impacts, such as joblessness, can be just as dangerous as the direct health impacts of COVID-19. As recently stated by the Director General of the World Health Organisation “We do not need to choose between lives and livelihoods, or between health and the economy. That’s a false choice. On the contrary, the pandemic is a reminder that health and the economy are inseparable”.
 
Our Blue lanes initiative continues to operate safely and successfully. As of yesterday, 66 yachts have been approved under this initiative, with more yachts and superyachts on the way. To ensure superyachts can function properly, we’re allowing for crew changes.  That means crew are being flown in to Fiji to join superyachts, allowing these vessels to be properly run and maintained for months at sea in Fiji.
 
Again, the requirements for entry into Fiji are strict. All crew must clear a pre-departure test, spend 14 days in quarantine, and then clear a border quarantine exit test.

We previously announced that travellers from Australia and New Zealand would be allowed to board flights to Fiji through two pathways. One, they could spend 14 days of quarantine in their home country, clear a negative COVID test and arrive in Fiji. Or they could clear a negative COVID test, spend 14 days of quarantine in a Fijian Government quarantine facility, and then embark through our VIP lanes to one of our specially designated resorts to begin their Bula Bubble vacation.
 
Unfortunately, due to new outbreaks of COVID-19, the Australian and New Zealand governments cannot certify home quarantine for potential travellers to Fiji, so we’ve closed that pathway for the time being. Otherwise, the Bula Bubble will continue to function as designed, as the second pathway remains open. All incoming travellers must conduct a pre-departure test, spend their 14 days in a Fijian Government-quarantine facility, and then clear a border quarantine test to begin their vacation.

Again, no one who arrives to Fiji is exempt from 14 days of quarantine and no one can enter Fijian society unless they clear a negative test result for COVID-19. Our health personnel and disciplined forces do have the capacity to make arrangements for alternative quarantine sites. However, the individual must bear the costs of their off-site supervision by members of our disciplined forces.
 
Our COVID-Safe Economic Recovery Framework was designed to be adaptable to the realities of the “new normal” and we fully expect more amendments moving forward. Throughout that ongoing review, every Fijian can trust that every one of our decisions are based on science and in line with best global practices. 
 
To maintain Fiji’s COVID-Contained status, our vigilance is the only vaccine available to us. And we must all remain vigilant at all times. As always, we urge you to wash your hands, maintain physical distance where possible and install the careFIJI digital contact tracing application.
 
Thank you.

Statement by the Acting Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services on New COVID-19 Case – Monday, 20 July 2020

Today we are announcing one new border quarantine case of COVID-19 – a 50-year-old female. Like the eight border quarantine cases announced since July 6th this latest case is a repatriated Fijian citizen from the flight from India that arrived on July 1st, and she is also the wife of one of the earlier announced border quarantine cases from this flight. When her husband tested positive they were both moved from the government designated quarantine facility to the isolation facility at Lautoka Hospital. 

She had tested negative on the first round of testing conducted for all passengers, but tested positive during the second round of testing. As she is a close contact of a known case it is not unexpected that she has also tested positive. She remains at the isolation facility at Lautoka Hospital and is currently asymptomatic.

This new case brings to a total of nine border quarantine cases announced since Monday 6th July –– all are repatriated Fijian citizens that arrived via the same flight from India that landed in Nadi on July 1st.

The rest of the passengers from the flight tested negative for COVID-19 during the second round of testing in Fiji. This means they all registered three negative COVID-19 test results – one before departure from India, the second soon after arrival into Fiji, and the third by the end of the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

All the passengers on the flight were kept under strict border quarantine conditions from the moment they arrived, including completing 14 days quarantine in government designated quarantine facilities, where they are supervised by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and screened daily for symptoms by staff from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. They were cleared and released at the end of the 14-day quarantine period.

As an added precaution the frontline staff at the border quarantine facilities holding these passengers were also tested for COVID-19 – all have tested negative. I will again re-emphasize here: so long as our border quarantine and infection prevention control protocols are upheld there is no risk to the Fijian public from border quarantine cases.

Dr James Fong

Acting Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services

-ENDS-

Statement by the Acting Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services on New COVID-19 Cases – Friday, 10 July 2020

At our last press conference on Tuesday 7th July we announced that the rest of the 105 passengers on the flight that repatriated Fijian citizens from India on July 1st would be tested for COVID-19.

Today, based on the result of those tests, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is announcing five new border quarantine cases of COVID-19.

This brings to a total of eight border quarantine cases announced since Monday, 6th July –– all are repatriated Fijian citizens arriving off the same flight from India that landed in Nadi on July 1st.

All the passengers on the flight have been kept under strict border quarantine conditions from the moment they arrived, including in government designated quarantine facilities where they are supervised by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and screened daily by staff from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

The five border quarantine cases announced today are a 44-year-old male, 38-year-old female,

51-year-old male, 29-year-old female, and 47-year-old male. One is the husband of a border quarantine case announced earlier this week.

Four of the cases have no symptoms, and one has mild symptoms. All have been securely transferred to the Nadi or Lautoka Hospital isolation facilities.

I will again re-emphasize here: so long as our border quarantine and infection prevention control protocols are upheld there is no risk to the Fijian public from these latest border quarantine cases.

The protocols to prevent transmission between the latest border quarantine cases and the support staff in the quarantine facilities have been upheld – there has been no breach.

However, as an additional precaution, support staff in these facilities are being tested for COVID-19 on a regular basis.

I also wish to reassure the public that, contrary to the Fiji Sun report this morning, there wasn’t any “slip up” in Fiji’s quarantine protocols.

Since the introduction of compulsory quarantine we have taken into account the need to replicate quarantine conditions in alternative sites for serious medical reasons. The process to replicate these quarantine conditions is extremely strict, with RFMF and MoHMS surveillance taking place directly at the home quarantine site.

Only when it is medically necessary do we commit the time and resource to allow individuals to safely complete their 14 days of quarantine in such an environment. But no matter what, the

14-day requirement still applies –– no exceptions.

On another note: The Republic of Fiji Military Forces personnel that arrived in Fiji on Saturday

27th June will complete their 14 days of quarantine in a government designated facility this weekend.

They were tested for COVID-19 soon after arrival in Fiji – with all testing negative.

They will all be tested again: requiring a second negative test result before being cleared for release from quarantine. It’s certainly been a long journey back to Fiji for our returning forces, but bringing our troops home and reuniting them with their family members is well worth every measure of effort we’ve given.

The same goes for all of our citizens who we are safely returning to Fiji from overseas.

By doing so, we are doing more than just proving our systems can support the safe repatriation of our fellow Fijians –– we are proving that we are a nation that does not turn its back on its own people.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services will continue to work closely with the RFMF and the border control teams at our ports of entry, to ensure that our border control measures remain firm and the systems and processes for the checking and clearance of quarantine individuals are working well.

Be rest assured, Fiji is still a COVID-Contained country.

-ENDS-

Statement by the Hon. Prime Minister J.V. Bainimarama on Latest COVID-19 Case – Monday, 20 April 2020

Bula Vinaka. 

It’s now been nearly two weeks since Cyclone Harold swept over Fiji.  As lines of communication have been re-established, our aid ships have made their way to our outer islands, and our response teams have surveyed damage, the scale of the devastation is becoming more clear. 

Our agricultural sector saw over 27 million dollars of damages from the immense levels of rain and flooding throughout Fiji. More than 500 homes were destroyed, with many hundreds more suffering damage. FRA’s infrastructure network, including our roading and jetties, took a 22-million-dollar hit. Overall, more than 180,000 Fijians saw their homes, their lives and livelihoods suffer from the brunt of Harold.

But as we made clear from the start, help is on the way for affected Fijians. For many, that help has already arrived, with food rations being delivered and clean-up commenced in some of our hardest-hit areas. Electricity and water supply has been restored for most of the country. As we pick up the pieces from Harold’s wrath, we can again devote ourselves to an enemy that will last far longer than any storm –– COVID-19.  

I want to begin today by honouring the life of Mr Morotikei Mainilala, a Turaga-ni-Koro serving in Baleyaganiga Village on Vanua Levu. The police have completed their investigation of Mr Mainlala’s passing. It appears he tried to break up a public gathering –– a drinking party –– before he was brutally killed. Those suspected of involvement have been charged. 

Our ban on social gatherings exists to stop the sort of person-to-person contact that spreads the deadly coronavirus. It’s clear Mr Mainilala knew that –– and it’s why he strove to prevent his fellow Fijians from violating our health protection measures. I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife, his six children, and his community. They, and all of Fiji, have lost a responsible leader and a brave Fijian.

From Friday through today, we have tested 123 samples for the coronavirus. One test returned what we call a “soft positive” result –– meaning we couldn’t say with certainty whether this sample was positive for COVID-19. After further testing and consultations with our reference lab in Melbourne, they found that these results indicate this sample came from someone in the final stages of recovery from coronavirus. 

This, combined with a travel history from the United States last month, was enough for us to call this case “highly likely” –– and in my book, when Fijian lives are at stake, that means “positive”. So clinically, we have officially confirmed this patient –– a 51-year-old woman in Ba –– as our 18th case of COVID-19.

The patient returned from the United States on the 22nd of March. After completing 14 days of home quarantine, she was cleared. Only later did she develop COVID-like symptoms. She was then  tested, giving us the soft positive result. The results of her test make it likely this patient has been carrying COVID-19 for weeks. Luckily, our contact tracing –– which began as soon as she was first tested on the 18th of April –– identifies her as a low-risk transmitter. 

This patient shares a home with three others –– all three have tested negative for the virus. Regardless, they have all been placed in isolation. We’ve traced and identified her other casual contacts; they have all been entered into compulsory home quarantine. 

Because of the low-risk nature of this patient spreading the virus, and our ability to quickly test and contain her few close contacts, we will not be locking down Ba Town. However, our mobile teams will be conducting a large-scale screening of the entire province. As with Lautoka and Suva, public cooperation is vital to this effort –– if we don’t see sufficient numbers from these screenings, Ba will risk a total lockdown. 

We’re also introducing new health protection measures nationwide. This virus is deadliest in already-ill patients –– that’s why it’s vital we keep coronavirus away from patients in hospital. Only two visitors a day will be allowed to see a patient, and the visitation window will only be one hour. Visitors will enter facilities one at a time and will need to be health-checked prior to entry. Our standing ban on visitations to isolation wards and facilities will continue. We’ll also be introducing compulsory testing for Fijians returning from overseas in government-funded quarantine after 14 days –– if they test negative after the critical 14-day incubation period, they will be able to spend the remaining 14 days of their quarantine at home. 

This latest case goes to show: This virus is still out there in our communities. Our 18th case has been present in Fiji for almost a month –– while her transmission risk is low, she was certainly not the only unconfirmed coronavirus case in the country. This is a complex and contagious virus, and –– no matter the strength of our safety nets –– cases can slip through the cracks, as we’ve in other countries, especially individuals who never show symptoms. 

This virus is proving as stealthy as it is unpredictable, but it can be beaten. Not by some magic cure –– but by keeping to the simple strategy of physical distancing. The difference of two metres of physical distance between us means the difference between victory and defeat in this campaign. It means the difference between life and death for vulnerable Fijians. 

This weekend, aside from dozens more arrests, we’ve received reports across the country of blatant violations of our physical distancing directives. Too many Fijians are still behaving as if the virus isn’t among us. Thank God, there are no deaths due to the virus in Fiji. But if people keep crowding in public places, gathering socially, or otherwise acting like these are normal times, there’s no question, we will lose lives. The possibility of a 24-hour curfew is not off the table –– the power to avoid that drastic alternative rests with every Fijian watching, listening to or reading this address. So, please, do the right thing today, and spare us suffering down the road.

All of us need to seize ownership over our health and by taking responsibility for the laws designed to keep this virus at bay. Don’t push the burden of recovery entirely on the shoulders of our doctors, nurses, and disciplined forces –– they deserve far better than anyone’s apathy or ambivalence. 

Supermarkets, retailers, and shops should have hand sanitiser available and prominent signage instructing physical distancing. Children should not be out and about –– they must stay home, as should the elderly. Social gatherings are banned, and the 8pm to 5am curfew remains in effect. And all of us should stay in our homes as much as possible. If you see someone violating our directives, do not stay silent –– pick up the phone and call number 158 or the dial the police.

I’d like to end my brief today with some good news. Three Fijians diagnosed with the virus have made full recoveries from the coronavirus. That means these Fijians have tested negative for the virus twice, with over 24 hours in between tests. We also have several individuals in isolation who –– after over 30 days –– have not tested positive for the virus. Our recovered patients, along with those who have continually tested negative, will be released. Out of an abundance of caution, they will remain under supervised home quarantine for 14 days. Our other 15 patients living with COVID-19 all remain in stable condition. The Minister for Health is here today to share the specifics. 

We should celebrate these recoveries. But we should do so knowing Fiji’s recovery from this virus is still months’ away at best. We can get there –– we will get there –– day by day, test by test, and recovery by recovery. I know it’s not always easy. It’s not easy to keep children at home. It’s not easy to manage shopping, care-giving and bread-winning, while also adhering to all of our directives. It’s not easy to go without seeing friends and family for social gatherings. But these directives save lives. I assure you, when our victory over this virus arrives, every measure of our diligence –– and every short-term sacrifice –– will have been well worth it. 

Thank you. God bless you all. 

STATEMENT FROM THE FIJIAN GOVERNMENT – FRIDAY, 17 APRIL 2020

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has announced a cabinet reshuffle effective from this evening.
 
The Prime Minister will add the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to his existing portfolios.
 
The Honourable Inia Seruiratu will now serve as the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and the Minister for Disaster Management. He will continue to lead the Ministry of Defence and National Security, which has now been re-named to the Ministry of Defence, National Security and Policing.
 
The Honourable Jone Usamate will continue to serve as the Minister for Infrastructure and Meteorological Services and will now also serve as the Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources.
 
The Honourable Faiyaz Koya will be the Minister for Commerce, Trade and Tourism, formerly known as the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. He will also serve as the Minister for Transport.
 
The Honourable Premila Kumar will continue to serve as the Minister for Local Government and the Minister for Housing and Community Development.
 
The Honourable Dr Mahendra Reddy will continue to serve as the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Waterways and Environment.
 
Honourable Vijay Nath and Honourable Jale Sigarara will serve as the assistant ministers for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management.
 
Honourable Viam Pillay will serve as the Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment.