The Ministry of Local Government hosted an information forum last Saturday, 14 March 2020, for representatives from all 13 Municipal Councils and the National Fire Authority to confirm their preparedness for COVID 19.
Special Administrators, Chief Executive Officers and Municipal Council Health Inspectors who were part of the forum shared and further developed their action plans on the precautionary measures all Councils need to undertake.
The Councils have been directed to keep Municipal Markets, Council offices and other Council facilities clean, safe and well ventilated and to institute social distancing at customer service counters.  
The Councils are instructed to show local leadership and only share accurate information from the Ministry of Health and WHO on how to contain and mitigate the spread of the virus. The Councils have now been further advised not to book any events for their facilities for more than 20 people for meetings and other events.
Councils are working closely with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to ensure available open spaces or Council facilities that can be used where needed for temporary health services or warehousing.
Residents of Lautoka can be assured that garbage collection; grass cutting; health inspections; street sweeping and drain cleaning and other Council services will not stop. Disinfecting and cleaning work has been increased in all Council areas and especially in Lautoka at this time. The use of gloves for cleaning has always been the practice and orders for the increased use of masks and protective gear have been made. Councils in this regard are working closely with the NFA to assist with water blasting as appropriate.
UN Women and their Markets for Change Program continue to liaise with Councils and the Ministry and Council staff and market vendors are working closely on any changes to market operation practice at this time.
Markets are being assessed on a case by case basis. Sections that are enclosed with little ventilation are being closed; vendors are being better spaced and some vendors are now working on rotation. Cleanliness and adequate ventilation is paramount to how markets will be operating. Some markets will be moved in whole or in part out of doors or onto verandas. Overcrowding is to be controlled and more marquees will be provided as and where needed.
The health and safety of the market vendors and users of the Municipal Council and National Fire Authority services is a top priority for the Ministry. The Ministry together with the Municipal Councils and National Fire Authority will continue to be guided by the directives of the lead agency, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, as we improve ways to protect communities from COVID-19 and other health risks.