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Tabuya calls for delay in border opening


Dec 02, 2021 01:49:04 PM

Tabuya calls for delay in border opening Opposition whip Lynda Tabuya says Fiji should have delayed the opening of borders due to uncertainty surrounding the new coronavirus variant, Omicron.

While giving her response to the statement made by president Ratu Wiliame Katonivere in Parliament last Monday, Tabuya said lives are more important than livelihoods.

She said the last time there was a call for stricter border controls, the Government brought in corona’s deadliest strain, the Delta variant via a flight from India.

“I more than anyone want our hotel workers and the rest of the tourism sector to thrive again but not at the cost of opening our borders again,” she said.

“We have just begun to regain some sense of normalcy but I firmly believe that the Government should have postponed the opening of borders.

“It should have been postponed until we understand the risks of the new omicron variant. Australia has just done it. They were going to open but they have delayed till 15th December.

“Japan has just done it. They have completely shut their borders to all visitors. Initial reports are that the omicron variant may be less deadly than the Delta variant.

“But the Australian Government is not going to put the lives of our citizens at risk and is postponing opening their borders until there is no more certainty.

“The question is why Fiji is not doing the same, shame on you for putting our citizens at risk. Our lives are more important than our livelihoods,” she said.

She said Ratu Wiliame commended the government on its vaccination efforts praising its political wisdom which they do not have.

“Political wisdom is not opening the borders leading to nearly 700 deaths and over 50,000 cases,” she said.

“Political wisdom is not allowing the honourable Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to charter an airplane that brought the deadly Delta variant.

“Political wisdom in not boasting about how the government helped the people when the majority of Fijians helped themselves through their own FNPF,” she said.

The World Health Organisation said it was not yet clear whether the Omicron was more transmissible when compared with other variants.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka


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