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Loopholes in lockdown estimates: Narube


Aug 01, 2021 02:35:16 PM

Loopholes in lockdown estimates: Narube The Minister for the Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum's estimate of the cost of a lockdown reflects his disregard for human lives, says Unity Fiji Party leader Savenaca Narube.

Narube said the minister’s statement that a lockdown will cost $350 million is a serious misunderstanding of the fundamentals of how an economy works.

He said an economy is driven by the confidence of consumers, businesses, and investors which can only start to rise when we regain control of the virus.

 “When there is no lockdown, businesses may be opened but the sales will not be there. The impacts on jobs are minimal,” Narube said in a statement.

 “What dollar value does the minister place on human lives?” The Minister has totally disregarded the many lives that have been lost.

“The numbers of deaths are fast approaching 200 and there will be many more as the health system crumbles. We must also count those that will die from other diseases,” Narube said.

He said not to put a country on lockdown will ten folds cost the country than anything else as the crisis will be prolonged.

“It will take much longer to raise consumer demand that is needed to drive businesses.  The longer that we do not have control of the virus, the longer it will take for businesses to recover,” he said.

“It will take longer for investor confidence to recover and take an additional two years for the country to regain lost incomes.

“To improve the quantity and effectiveness of the support for those that need food assistance during a lockdown, the government should involve the private sector and the civil societies,” he said.

Narube said there are overwhelming economic and financial advantages of a lockdown than simply relying on vaccinations.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka



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