Former prime minister and National Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said Fiji could see multiple daily deaths if the spiralling numbers of new COVID cases was not contained.
“There is a possibility of seeing daily deaths from COVID 19 as we have seen it happen in other countries,” Mr Chaudhry told The Pacific Advocate.
The Fiji Ministry of Health announced the biggest number of cases daily on the weekend reaching 150 – an increase of over 233 per cent from the previous weekend which had 45 cases.
Mr Chaudhry blamed a lack of discipline in the containment of the virus, calling it alarming and calling for drastic measures to be taken to bring it under control.
“The health ministry is contradicting itself when it initially started restricting the movement of people, then later on opening up the borders and supporting the lifting of the lockdowns,” he said.
“Especially the Lami, Suva Nausori corridor, they are saying it’s okay to open up.”
He said the main Suva CWM Hospital was contaminated with COVID limiting the hospital to treat cases and forcing large numbers of people with other ailments to seek consultation and treatment elsewhere.
The former PM believes the reason for the lifting of the restrictions was the pressure from the business community for economic benefit.
“The vulnerable are suffering the most; small businesses, people who have lost employment, thousands are struggling and unfortunately government help is not forthcoming,” he said.
While commending the NGOs and charitable organisations who were stepping up and providing assistance to those who have struggling, Mr Chaudhry slammed the country’s health ministry, claiming that the latest move to seek assistance from overseas would not have been needed had the department been disciplined and kept restrictions in place to combat the spread of the virus.
He also believes the ministry is not listening to constructive criticism from people who understand what is happening on the ground and could help to provide solutions.
Questions seeking a response to the assertions made by Mr Chaudhry have been sent to the Fiji Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Health however no response has been received.