I will review the situation for curfew – Dr Fong
PS Health says there are proportionally fewer symptomatic infections and cases with severe outcomes from COVID in children compared with older age groups

I will review the situation for curfew – Dr Fong

PS Health says there are proportionally fewer symptomatic infections and cases with severe outcomes from COVID in children compared with older age groups

By Naveel Krishant
Saturday 29/01/2022
[Image: file]

Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong says he will review the situation for curfew.

He made this comment to fijivillage after we highlighted to him that Ellana Kalounisiga of Knox Entertainment said that one of the biggest challenges for the performing arts sector across Fiji is the curfew.

While speaking during the MSME Policy Dialogue, Kalounisiga asked for an update on what is happening to the curfew, what is the reason we still have a curfew and when will it be lifted.

She further raised the question on the logic behind group gatherings allowed for 20 people at an inside event while as parents, they have to allow kids to go back to school and we all know that a lot of our local schools have classroom sizes that are 40 plus.

Dr Fong says for children, the Ministry reiterates the WHO endorsed position that children under 18 years should not be restricted from social interactions on the basis of vaccination status.

He further says overall, there are proportionally fewer symptomatic infections, and cases with severe outcomes from COVID-19 in children and adolescents, compared with older age groups, and therefore such restrictions are not justified from a public health perspective.

Dr Fong adds this is especially so that with the added requirement to adhere to COVID safe measures, the inherent lower risk in children and adolescents is further reduced.

He also says that while the Ministry is encouraging the vaccination of our children less than 18 years, it is still not compulsory and children are safe to interact in our communities while employing COVID safe measures at all times outside their households.

Five people below the age of 19 years have died from COVID-19 during the third wave in Fiji.

An analysis of the first 94 deaths in the third wave by the Health Ministry says the five deaths in the under 19 group were for children with significant underlying medical conditions present since birth.

A 10-day old baby girl, an 8-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy who had pre-existing medical conditions and were unvaccinated were confirmed to have died from COVID-19 on Wednesday.

On Monday, the Health Ministry also confirmed the deaths of a 4-month-old baby and an unvaccinated 15-year-boy with underlying health conditions.


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