Fijian gov’t not to let COVID-19 win: PM

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SUVA, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) — Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama ensured on Friday that his government can’t let coronavirus win and will continue to help stimulate the island nation’s economy wherever possible.

With the Fijian economy slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the society in a struggle for its health, it is up to the Fijian government to be the locomotive that the island nation going, he said, adding that with the 2020/2021 budget, the main focus was to create jobs through public works for Fijians, and millions of dollars that can circulate through the Fijian economy.

Building and creating jobs is also necessary, and Fiji will move forward wherever it can, and come out of this dark period stronger than ever, the prime minister said.

The COVID-19 has had serious impact on the Fijian economy which is expected to contract by 21.7 percent this year. A lot of people, most of whom come from the island nation’s tourism industry, have lost their jobs.

He said that the nationwide curfew from March 30 this year and closing its border was two of the most difficult decisions the Fijian government had to make, but this was necessary.

Meanwhile, Fiji’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday that it has been working closely with its diplomatic partners to coordinate flights to repatriate Fijians stranded abroad.

In collaboration with the Fijian government, Ministry of Health, Department of Immigration and other stakeholders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has managed the safe return of 4,000 Fijian nationals.

Fiji has reported a total of 28 COVID-19 cases since March 19 when the island nation recorded its first confirmed case.

After some of them have fully recovered from the virus and one died from COVID-19, Fiji currently reports seven active cases and all of them are now in stable condition. Enditem

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