Cross-border transfer of goods system: Ministry

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“We will examine the different types of goods that need to be reloaded and then make decisions about how to move them safely at the boundaries of the security areas,” said Dr. Fong.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Dr. James Fong.

Operating procedures have been put in place for the transport of goods to the Nadi and Lautoka containment areas.

The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Dr. James Fong said efforts are being made to minimize the number of people entering the containment area due to the risks of COVID-19.

“It’s much the same as the last lockdown, but we’re much more organized now because we’re anticipating these issues and putting things together,” said Dr. Fong.

“We try to hand things over at the border for the most part because when they have to cross they will get involved with the community.

“We will examine the different types of goods that need to be reloaded and then make decisions about how to move them safely at the boundaries of the security areas.”

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the government is also making arrangements for the safe transport of goods.

“We also take precautions to ensure that fresh produce, staples, finished goods and other items can be brought into and out of the security area.

“We have organized this type of cross-border exchange before and the police have been instructed to be quick with these permits so that these goods can flow as freely as possible.”

Agriculture

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Mahendra Reddy confirmed that arrangements would be made for the delivery of vegetables to COVID-19 containment areas.

He said they would also make sure that vegetable prices are not affected.

Response from providers

Suva market banana seller Sakiusa Bure, 43, said the lockdown last year was very challenging.

“I suffered because I couldn’t get the banana shipments. I had to look for bananas to sell, ”he said.

Mr. Bure gets his bananas from Ra, Naitasiri, Nadroga and Navosa.

He has been selling bananas on the Suva market for 10 years.

“If the Fijian government puts another lockdown, vegetable prices could go up,” he said.

Another market vendor, Rajend Sami, said if another lockdown were imposed, he would apply for a curfew to deliver his vegetables at the borders.

Praneel Singh, 24, said vegetable prices were likely to rise.

“We have no choice but to sell the vegetables at the higher prices,” he said.

“During the lockdown last year, we didn’t get any vegetable supplies. I sold the vegetables I had at a higher price because it was difficult to get supplies, ”he said.

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