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COMMENT: By Professor Biman Prasad

Pictures and videos emerging about the shocking and deplorable conditions for covid-isolated patients in Fiji hospitals are no surprise. Nor should they be.

They are a direct consequence of the Bainimarama government’s failure to lead, failure to plan – and worst of all, failure to care.

Two months ago Ministry of Health officials publicly warned us about the dangers of our health system breaking down under the weight of covid numbers.

The government refused to listen to advice. It arrogantly refused to lock down.

And now this disaster is upon us.

There is a video circulating about a dead patient being left in a temporary hospital ward for hours. Everyone knows a story about ambulances being called which never turn up.

We hear about a case where a person’s body stayed in a car for five hours in the hospital car park because no one had time or resources to help.

We were warned – by our own officials
Tragically, people affected by non-covid conditions are now dying because they cannot get into hospitals for care.

These were all things we were warned about, by our own health officials.

Up to now the bulk of our cases has been in the Central Division, which is serviced by the best hospitals. As the disease spreads around Viti Levu, the situation will get much worse.

This damage is now too late to fix. These desperate stories will continue.

We all know that deaths from this outbreak will be measured in the hundreds, and the horror of this is just beginning.

And yet, our leaders are silent. They offer no support, no information. They do not want to talk about this crisis because they have difficult questions to answer about their utter failure to lead.

Do your best to protect yourselves
Where were they when their own officials were warning them?

And where are they now?

We plead with people to do their best to protect themselves.

Wear masks, follow the physical distancing rules. Please get vaccinated, if not for yourself for the health and safety of your nearest and dearest around you.

We have a government that cannot lead and which is too ashamed and cowardly to lead.

It is now up to each of us to look after and care for each other until we rid ourselves of this failed leadership in the next elections.

Professor Biman Prasad is the leader of Fiji’s National Federation Party.

  • RNZ Pacific reports that Fiji has recorded 1054 new cases of covid-19 in the 24 hours to 8am yesterday. That compares to 784 cases and 15 deaths in the previous 24-hour period.
  • The government also confirmed 12 more deaths between 13 and 19 July, taking the death toll to 125 with 123 of these from the latest outbreak that began in April.
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