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By Indra Singh in Suva

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says that if Fijians continue to disregard the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic directives from authorities, a nationwide 24-hour curfew could be imposed.

His comments come as Fiji yesterday recorded its two latest coronavirus cases, taking the total to seven.

Bainimarama said there was no “magic bullet” to overcome the deadly virus and following social-distancing instructions was the way to win the war against the disease.

READ MORE: Al Jazeera coronavirus live updates – Global infections tops 1 million

LISTEN: FBC audio of PM Bainimarama

“We’re closely watching the behavior of all Fijians, and if these habits aren’t changed on your own accord, we aren’t afraid to scale up our enforcement to contain COVID-19. We can achieve this one of two ways: By your willing cooperation, or by heavy-handed action. For every Fijian, this will be much easier if you follow our directives –– but if not, we will be forced to crack down with a nationwide 24-hour curfew.”

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After announcing the lockdown for Suva, which came into effect this morning, and the changing of curfew times, the Prime Minister said people needed to be patient.

“The point is, food and essential goods will remain on the shelves of our shops and supermarkets. Do not run to the supermarkets and buy up goods this afternoon –– doing so will crowd these stores and put every shopper at-risk.”

He said the government was putting this into place to help Fiji fight against the  coronavirus.

The PM said that also from today, social gatherings would be banned entirely, everywhere in Fiji.

Indra Singh is news manager of FBC News.

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