3 Apr 2020

Covid-19: Fiji residents adjust to new way of life

8:41 pm on 3 April 2020

A Suva resident caught in the lockdown says Fijians are now having to adjust to a new way of life.

Suva was shut off from the rest of the country since 5am Friday following two new Covid-19 cases found in the city on Thursday.

Points in and out of Suva are blocked by police

Points in and out of Suva are blocked by police Photo: Fiji police

Police roadblocks were erected at the three main entry points to the city.

Resident Jim Tava said the city was empty, including the bus station, which was usually bustling with activity.

Mr Tava said life dramatically changed for many Fijians since Covid-19 reached the country last month.

He said the last time he saw the city deserted was in the days following the coup in 2000.

"The bus station was literally empty. Today was very different. People are talking about readjustment because it's a totally new thing to be confined in one area.

"It's so natural for us to move around," he said.

Mr Tava, a webmaster and digital consultant was allowed to work today.

He was able to get to his office in the CBD in 20 minutes, a trip that usually took at least an hour.

Mr Tava said workers who lived outside the lockdown perimeter were unable to get into the city as police had been directed to see that no one left or entered the capital.

Meanwhile Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho appealed to the public to adhere to the lockdown measures.

He said if everyone cooperated with the authorities, the country could get back to normal soon.

Earlier, a shopowner was ordered to close his business after people were seen entering and buying goods in the store.

Police said they were alerted to the shop by concerned members of the public.

Earlier this week Fiji's second biggest city of Lautoka had their lockdown extended until Tuesday.

Friday prayers at mosques around the country were also cancelled.

And the Fiji Muslim League said it was closing its mosques and masjids due to the Covid-19 threat.

It urged Muslims to pray in their homes.

Fiji police man checkpoints into Suva

Fiji police man checkpoints into Suva Photo: Fiji police