A closer look: Fiji's COVID-19 crisis
Goundar, Sargam; Kessler, Kim Andreas
Fiji’s COVID-19 story started with the Fijian Government taking action in the form of travel restrictions to Fiji and mandatory border quarantine to keep the virus out. This was largely driven by an anticipation of Fiji’s lack of resilience due to communal living, high NCD (non-communicable disease) rates, a fragile health system, and so on. However, in the context of the current COVID-19 community outbreak in Fiji, while case numbers are soaring, the Fijian Government response has been mostly reactive and ‘outward looking’, towards foreign aid, foreign expertise and vaccination. While external support is needed, it is urgent to again look ‘inward’ as well, to understand problems of ordinary Fijians on the ground, and to provide context-specific proactive solutions. A closer look into spatial and other contextual factors of the current crisis is crucial for a better understanding of the realities on the ground. In the following we identify some of these realities, which can help to understand why the current Fijian Government approach needs adjustment if it is going to be fit for purpose for the current crisis in Fiji.
Publisher: The Fiji Times
Keywords: COVID-19; Fiji; spatial geography; vulnerability; development policy
Research Type: Website
This article was also published in The Fiji Times print version on 14 July 2021.