Aust gives another F$42.5 million to Fiji for budget support

Australian COVID support to Fiji

Australia has supplied Fiji with direct budget support, vaccines, rations for front liners, funds for NGO emergency food distribution, medical supplies including thermal guns and other forms of support in responding to COVID-19.

A further F$42.5 million in budget support has been pledged and 50,000 more Australian-manufactured AstraZeneca doses arrived in Fiji last night, in what Australia says is a further demonstration of its commitment to stand with Fiji during this difficult time.

“It is Australia’s highest priority that countries in our region, including our Fijian vuvale, have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. Australia has now delivered 180,000 vaccines in just over a month to support Fiji’s fight against COVID-19. This is part of Australia’s commitment to provide Fiji with one million vaccines,” said Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes.

“Together with New Zealand’s commitment of 500,000 vaccines, Fiji will have enough doses to fully vaccinate its entire eligible population,” he continued.

Australia has also provided over F$152.5 million in direct budget support (the latest tranche of F$42.5 million signed today), COVID-19 testing equipment and qualified lab technicians, 1.3 tonnes of Personal Protective Equipment and medical supplies, and more.

Fiji currently has 656 active COVID cases. Five police officers are among 39 new cases announced yesterday. A further 11 cases new cases  were reported from the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva.

Acting Police Commissioner Rusiate Tudravu says the force had tried their best to prevent the spread of the virus amongst its officers, but has not said how the officers were infected.

228,030 people have already received at least one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. There have been 849 cases since this outbreak began two months ago.

Meanwhile the Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong says investigations into two deaths this month have found there is no evidence to suggest that the two died after receiving their vaccines.

“We have established a monitoring system and response plan to detect any unexpected medical event after someone has received a vaccine,” he said, adding vaccinations cannot cause heart attacks.