COVID-19 Fiji: Ministry concerned with citizens dismissing Omicron as ‘mild’

Ministry of Health's permanent secretary Dr James Fong. Picture: FILE

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services in Fiji is concerned that people are dismissing Omicron as mild.

Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong said 77 countries had now reported cases of Omicron.

He said the reality was that the Omicron variant was probably in most countries even if it had not been detected yet.

“Surely, we have learned by now that we underestimate this virus at our peril,” Dr Fong said.

“Even if Omicron does cause less severe disease, the sheer number of cases could once again overwhelm unprepared health systems.

“I need to be very clear: vaccines alone will not get any country out of this crisis.

“Countries can – and must – prevent the spread of Omicron with measures that work today.

“It’s not vaccines instead of masks. It’s not vaccines instead of distancing. It’s not vaccines instead ventilation or hand hygiene. Do it all. Do it consistently. Do it well.”

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