"Fiji now heads the grim list of Pacific nations counting their dead from
coronavirus, having just passed Papua New Guinea’s toll. So far, 254 Fijians
have died from the disease, and the nation is recording 1,000 new cases every
But numbers are an inadequate and inaccurate way to calculate the cost of the
pandemic in the Pacific. Even in the Pacific’s COVID-free countries, the
pandemic casts an ominous shadow.
The Delta variant has drastically altered the situation for the Pacific. It was
first detected in Fiji in April and spread quickly. This is despite Fiji being
the first Pacific nation to receive AstraZeneca vaccines through the COVAX
program in March.
The Bainimarama government is being blamed for not executing a rapid mass
vaccination campaign and not sufficiently locking down the nation. The other
contagion accompanying coronavirus around the globe – misinformation – has also
been blamed for widespread Fijian vaccine reluctance.
Now Fiji’s government is desperately fighting to contain the outbreak. Fears
are circulating that it is facing a repeat of the 1875 measles epidemic that
killed about 40,000 people."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics