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COVID-19 in Fiji - from health and economic to a major political crisis

Weber, Eberhard and Kopf, Andreas and Vaha, Milla (2022) COVID-19 in Fiji - from health and economic to a major political crisis. In: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreaks, Vaccination, Politics and Society. Springer Nature, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 45-66. ISBN 978-3-031-09432-3

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For more than a year Fiji was among Pacific Island Countries (PICs) with a very low incidence of COVID-19. In mid-April 2021 the country then experienced a second wave of the disease. Within a few weeks infection numbers per million population were among the highest recorded globally. With tens of thousands of COVID-19 cases and hundreds of deaths, the Fiji government came under great public pressure. A major point of criticism was that the government could not prevent the Delta variant entering Fiji’s public after April 2021. By the end of the year Fiji seemed to have control of the second wave. With 54, 147 recorded COVID-19 cases and 698 deaths, Fiji ranked top among PICs and third among Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs). The last days of December, however, saw fears that a third wave was starting driven by the Omicron variant. Although the vaccination campaign in Fiji went well, some perceived that vocal anti-vaccination movements would pose a threat. Within a week government statements and subsequent policies shifted from speaking of the constitutional rights of people to choose whether to be vaccinated to the introduction of strict vaccinations requirements in hastily constructed legislation. Those critical of vaccination were persecuted by state authorities; those not willing to get vaccinated lost their jobs and livelihoods (‘no jab, no job’).

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: An account of the COVID-19 pandemic in Fiji until end of 2022
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19; vaccination; economic conditions, political challenges
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS)
School of Law and Social Sciences (SoLaSS)
Depositing User: Eberhard Weber
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2022 03:30
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2022 03:30

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