Most major countries have now imposed restrictions on travel, to try to contain the new COVID-19 variant called Omicron.

Minister for Health, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete says Fiji’s internal and external measures in place are to be able to mitigate whatever variant Fiji could be faced with.

Doctor Waqainabete says public health safety measures and vaccination is vital in the continuous fight against the deadly virus.

With international travel set to resume from Wednesday, the Minister for Health says Fiji has carried out a detailed assessment on travel partners’ countries.

“In these countries, adequate assessment has been done by our experts working with WHO and also international bodies. We know that these countries are relatively safe”.
Dr Waqainabete says mechanisms have been put in place locally and externally to ensure Fijians are safe.

“There are countries that are not part of this group. Those are the countries for which we have mechanisms in place. We are ensuring that if they finally do come in or if we repatriate our people from there then their time of quarantine is actually longer than others so we have those measures in place”.

The World Health Organization has declared that the new variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning.

Its preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other variants.

Omicron was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on 24 of this month.