Leader of Opposition Hon. Matthew Wale cautions the government not to down play the recent mutation of the corona virus into the delta variant as it plans repatriation flights for standard citizens abroad.

In a detailed statement issued recently, Mr. Wale also said, “It is truly unfortunate that some of our students in Fiji are now infected with the virus and with its ravaging effect there, their families must be concerned. These are truly hard and my heart goes out to the affected families.”

Mr. Wale however goes on to say, “the recent mutation of the corona virus into the delta variant, now in Fiji, only mean the government must step up in our Covid-19 preparedness plans to prevent entry”.

He said recent overseas statistics clearly show that the pandemic has gotten from bad to worst in most countries, adding that Fiji, regrettably, is now one of those countries.

He says the soaring number of confirmed cases of the delta variant strand, which has a higher transmission rate, will have severe consequences if it enters the country.

“The sudden increases in the number of infections and deaths are now taking their toll on Fiji’s health system and resources.

“The situations in both Fiji and PNG therefore must serve as a serious reminder that the fight against Covid 19 is far from over - it is now at our door steps,” the Opposition Leader said.

He further added that “This demands that our domestic efforts to prevent entry must be raised to the highest of standards which may require strict vaccination conditions and containment protocols for any person coming in from Fiji or any other red zones with this strand. Given our current situation, the safety of our people must now be at the forefront of any decision making by the government”.

“I therefore urge the government to make every effort necessary to inform our students and citizens overseas that it is in everyone’s interests that Solomon Islands is kept Covid-19 free, and any actions that may undermine this zero tolerance attitude should not be tolerated under any circumstance.

“I also encourage our students and citizens overseas looking to return home to give priority to the importance of protecting our people by doing their part in adhering to best medical advice on the importance of getting vaccinated,” said Hon. Wale.

The Opposition Leader also pointed out that the increased risk now brought about by the delta variant is giving more credence to my earlier call for the government to be proactive in its vaccination program.

“There is no better defensive mechanism that having the majority of our people vaccinated,” Hon. Wale further added.

Source: Opposition Press