31 Mar 2020

Nearly 70 arrests in Fiji for Covid-19 curfew breaches

2:52 pm on 31 March 2020

Fiji's police have arrested 68 people for breaching the nationwide curfew which started last night as part of government measures to restrict Covid-19.

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Photo: RNZ Pacific / Koroi Hawkins

The curfew runs each night from 10pm until 5am the next morning.

Police said with the high number of arrests made and the Covid-19 threat, health processing teams were called in to help handle those taken into custody.

Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho urged the public to adhere to the curfew, saying it would help protect all Fijians, including police officers.

Earlier Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama had warned if lockdown and curfew measures continued to be violated, the government would impose further restrictions.

Dozens of people had already been arrested for breaching lockdown rules in Lautoka, where Fiji's first batch of Covid-19 cases were located.

That lockdown is due to end on Friday but Mr Bainimarama said if people failed to follow the rules and the virus spread then bans on movement would continue.

Under the Public Order Act, anyone found guility of breaching the Covid-19 restrictions could face penalties of up to $US4,300 in fines or five years in prison.

There are currently five cases of the coronavirus in Fiji.