Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:
This Operation Update is issued to inform stakeholders of the extension to the operation timeframe by two months until 31 August 2021. The extension is required due to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Fiji and the Fiji government has imposed strict restrictions on movement of people and logistics within different provinces and islands. All international and domestic flights have been suspended, domestic ferries are limited to essential freight only, and there is no movement of people. Most businesses remain closed, including suppliers of items needed for the operation.
The restrictions have meant total suspension of the operation with no ability to undertake procurement, transportation of logistics or deployment of staff and volunteers to the affected areas to complete remaining activities.
The situation is still ongoing, with no certainty when the Government of Fiji will lift restrictions and enable the operation to restart. The current detailed plan requires 10 weeks to complete all remaining activities for the early recovery phase of the operation. There are two changes to the Emergency Plan of Actions as follows:
- FRCS have de-prioritized the repair/construction of household latrines. This is due to the Ministry of Health undertaking construction of household latrines in the affected communities targeted by FRCS, and also limited technical capacity within the National Society (NS). The budget reallocation is prioritized to increase the number of community and household water tanks based on analysis from the secondary assessment. This is awaiting final approval from the Director General of FRCS.
- Health activities have focused on provision of awareness messaging for Leptospirosis, Typhoid, Diarrhea and Dengue (LTDD) to communities, to reduce the risk and spread of vector-borne diseases, due to the significant flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone (TC) Ana. To date, FRCS health activities have reached 255 communities, a total of 37,135 people (7,371 households) in hotspot areas affected by TC Yasa and TC Ana. Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, the LTDD awareness will occur through mass media communications (radio, television and social media) instead of continued community engagement by volunteers, other than in low-risk areas with no COVID-19 cases.
Whilst there is still uncertainty over when the Fiji government will fully lift COVID-19 outbreak restrictions, on 31 May 2021, the government did announce some minor reductions in current restrictions. For businesses to re-open, they must now apply for a permit adhering to strict Covid protocols. Containment zones on Viti Levu continue, now reduced to one zone for the greater Suva area and another zone for Nadi and Lautoka.