Saturday, July 20, 2024

Support for Fiji COVID battle continues

Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta has announced further support for Fiji, including funding for nursing staff and 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Our thoughts remain with Fiji during this incredibly challenging period,” Ms Mahuta said.

“New Zealand has funded 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine directly from the Spanish government in order to meet Fiji’s immediate vaccine requirements. The vaccines will arrive in Fiji later today.

“AstraZeneca is Fiji’s vaccine of choice and these doses will further support the excellent work Fiji is doing in vaccinating its population.”

Earlier this year New Zealand committed to providing up to 500,000 doses of vaccine to support Fiji’s rollout.

“Fiji’s vaccination programme is progressing well with 25% now fully vaccinated, and first doses provided to 82% of the population. Our commitment stands and New Zealand will continue to work with Fiji to confirm its remaining vaccine requirements,” said Minister Mahuta.

New Zealand is also funding the recruitment of 190 Fiji graduate nurses, for a three-month period, to provide surge capacity across the health system including at Fiji’s isolation facilities.

“The recruitment of these nurses not only supports Fiji’s response in the short term, but also contributes to the long-term resilience of the health sector,” she said. 

Aotearoa has also responded to a range of other requests from the Fiji Government and civil society.

“In the last two weeks New Zealand has supported the provision and retrofitting of ambulances and medical equipment, provided funding support to civil society partners and begun delivering 700,000 testing swabs and privacy screens for medical facilities,” said Ms Mahuta.

She said the latest initiatives built on previous packages of support New Zealand has provided Fiji to enable its COVID-19 response, including $40 million of financial assistance, PPE, testing equipment and other relief supplies. New Zealand has also deployed two rotations of medical personnel to the joint Australia New Zealand Medical Assistance Team providing surge clinical, logistical and public health support for the Fiji health system.

“We remain in close contact with the Government of Fiji and civil society partners to support further requests,” Ms Mahuta said.

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