12 Apr 2020

Fiji PM says Covid-19 links show why people should adhere to restrictions

11:43 am on 12 April 2020

Fiji's Prime Minister says the impact of a couple of Covid-19 cases shows the need to adhere to government restrictions and measures related to the coronavirus.

Fiji PM, Frank Bainimarama

Fiji PM, Frank Bainimarama Photo: Fiji Govt

This weekend the government confirmed the country's 16th case, a nine-year old girl.

Frank Bainimarama said she was the granddaughter of a Labasa man, who had also tested positive after returning from India.

It was the sixth case connected to the 53-year old man, who reportedly ignored quarantine recommendations.

A number of cases had also been linked to the first confirmed case in Fiji, a 28-year-old flight attendant from Lautoka who had been in the US.

The prime minister said it showed how long and dangerous a chain of transmission could grow if public health directives were blatantly ignored.

Mr Bainimarama asked Fijians to pledge to protect their families by changing behaviours in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

"Protect your family, do what the authorities tell you to do -- help us break every chain of transmission in Fiji."

The government had implemented a nightly nationwide curfew from 8pm to 5am, to restrict movement and help prevent further spread of the virus.

However police still said they were still seeing people moving around, often using side roads to try and avoid discovery.

More than 600 arrests have been made over the past week for people breaching curfew and other lockdown measures.

Local media report police have begun using dog units to help enforce the curfew.

Fiji police man a checkpoint to enforce the lockdown

Fiji police man a checkpoint to enforce the lockdown Photo: Fiji police