Bula Vinaka. 
I want to start today with a reminder of what we are up against. 
It may have been some time since some of us have heard the latest statistics about the toll this virus has taken on humanity. They are shocking, so please listen well. 141 million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded worldwide. More than three million lives have been lost to this virus –– and that’s just by official counts, which likely far underestimate the actual numbers. In recent weeks, the virus has exploded around the world –– often fuelled by more contagious variants –– sending cases skyrocketing in places like India and Brazil, as well as in our own region, in Papua New Guinea. This virus is as deadly as it has ever been. It is more transmissible, and we must treat it more seriously than we ever have before. 
As we all know, our contact tracing since the weekend has centred on the hotel staff who contracted COVID-19 while working in a border quarantine facility. We have been concerned with her travel history, which placed her around Nadi and Lautoka while she was likely highly contagious. 
The most concerning part of her travel history was a funeral she attended in Tavakubu in Lautoka on Friday the 16th of April and Saturday the 17th of April. The vast majority of the funeral attendees resided within the Nadi and Lautoka Containment Area. However, after our announcement yesterday, a family in Suva has come forward to let us know they attended the funeral. Thank God they did. As of this morning, one of those family members, a 40-year-old woman, has tested positive for COVID-19. 
This individual resides in the Wainitarawau Settlement in Cunningham. She lives at home with six others––her husband and five children. She and all the members of her household are all securely in isolation at Navua Hospital. Her family members have all tested negative for the virus so far. 
This case solidifies our concern that this funeral is the epicentre of an outbreak. We are treating it as a superspreader event. If you were at the funeral in Tavakubu, either at the residence or at Peceliema Church, on Friday 16th April or Saturday 17th April and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services has not yet contacted you, please call 158 right now. Your life, and the lives of those you love, may be at-risk. Please, pick up the phone and dial these three numbers: 1-5-8. I’m asking every Fijian watching today to help us spread that message far and wide. We are not a big country––we can find all of these Fijians. 
In response to the case in Wainitarawau, from 10pm last night through today, we have activated our containment teams to establish a screening zone at the Wainitarawau Settlement. The rules for the zone are simple: No one is allowed out. Those who live in this area are being allowed back in, but they must stay there. We are screening every Fijian in that zone, and we will keep the area contained for at least the next 14 days. The density of Fijians living within the settlement make this area particularly high-risk for the virus’s spread, so we aren’t taking any chances. 
We’ve already established a containment area in the West. We have new health protection measures to announce today for all of Viti Levu. These measures will take effect from tomorrow, and they must be met with a measure of responsibility from every Fijian: 
  • For all of Viti Levu, higher-risk businesses, such as gyms, movie theatres, video gaming shops, cyber cafes, taverns, bars, billiard shops and amusement arcades cannot open for at least the next 14 days. Restaurants may not open for in-person dining, but may offer delivery and take-away services. 

The curfew hours will remain from 2300 hours to 0400 hours. 
  • Supermarkets and shops selling food–– including open-air markets –– can open so that people can buy food. Banks can open so that people can get money. Pharmacies can open so that people can get medicine. FNPF can open so that people can access funds. However, it is vital that vendors and businesses ensure strict physical distancing before opening their doors. Make sure customers in queues are spaced out by two metres and manage crowding. 
  • All employers who can allow their employees to work from home should do so. Other businesses and places of work can open, though staff must have careFIJI downloaded on their phones. If someone does not have a smartphone, their contact tracing details must be recorded every day. Customer-facing businesses should limit customer capacity to 50%. Businesses that do not manage these risks with COVID-safe plans will be shut down. The virus is here –– we cannot afford to turn a crowded market into the next centre of an outbreak. Vendors and customers must ensure that everyone maintains a physical distance of two metres. Everyone should wear masks. If you cough or sneeze, do it in your elbow or in a disposable tissue. For good measure, report your symptoms to the nearest fever clinic to report your symptoms. 

Non-work gatherings of any size cannot take place anywhere. That includes religious services, weddings, and other events. This gathering restriction applies nationwide. However, we will be allowing people to hold funeral services with up to 20 people. The reason is simple; an unplanned death cannot be rescheduled, so we will allow funerals to happen at a small scale.
In short, if you do not have an essential reason to leave your house –– do not leave your house. Stay home. Keep your children at home. If you absolutely need to travel, wear a mask and make sure you have the careFIJI app switched on. If you have travelled for an emergency, for your employment, or to access an essential service, head home straight after. 
Some people may not have a mask at the moment. We will publish specific guidance on mask-wearing on our Facebook page, including for the making of homemade masks. There is no excuse not to do your part. Everytime you leave the house, the virus could be travelling with you. If you aren’t careful, it could be coming home with you. The best course of action is to stay home unless you have a life-sustaining reason to travel. But if you have to leave––wear a mask. Outdoor exercise is allowed. But you should only interact with other members of your household and keep a two-metre distance from all others. Team contact sports, like rugby, basketball, and soccer, cannot be played.
These restrictions are stringent, but as long as we are all responsible, they will allow us some measure of normalcy in our lives. If we all follow these rules, we can go about our day-to-day lives as normally as possible under the circumstances, and essential services can remain accessible to everyone. You will be able to shop for food when you need to. You can buy medicine when you need to. You can buy toilet paper when you need to. Some of you probably still have toilet paper left over from last year’s panic-buying spree –– I assure you it does not expire. The point is: We should all know by now that panic is a pointless exercise. When we detect a case, the Ministry acts decisively to handle it. We transparently announce it to the public. We always have and we always will. I’m telling you this because if these measures are not followed––if we see massive crowds of maskless people milling about––we will shut down entire towns and cities. We have done it before. 
We won’t know for some time whether this is a new or more contagious variant of the virus–– but we should act like it is. As I said yesterday, we have to start treating everyone outside of our households as if they are positive for the virus until it is proven otherwise. 
From midday tomorrow, we are suspending outbound inter-island passenger travel from Viti Levu. Passengers can travel to Viti Levu, but no one on Viti Levu can leave until these measures have expired. We know that isn’t convenient for everyone, but the scenario of containing this virus throughout our maritime regions all at once should be avoided at all costs. Domestic passenger flights off Viti Levu have also been suspended. As for international flights, we are suspending all passenger air travel into and out of Fiji for non-medical purposes. We need every available room in quarantine for Fijians in Fiji at this time. 
My fellow Fijians, the family in Wainitarawau Settlement were not the only ones to come forward after our announcement yesterday. Three of the missing links in the hotel staff’s travel history were the driver of minibus she took on Friday the 16th of April from Lautoka City, the driver of the minibus she took from Nadi to Lautoka on the morning of 17th April, and the driver of the grey taxi which she took from the funeral to the minivan stand at Lautoka City on April 17th. Last night, we identified the drivers of both those minivans and the grey taxi. They all came forward after the descriptions of their vehicles and the times of the travel were announced yesterday. They came forward knowing they may have contracted the virus, and they did so because they care about their health, the health of those they love, and the health of their fellow Fijians. They have since been quarantined. They will be tested for COVID-19. I want to say how grateful we are that they came forward and that they were honest with us –– they all committed acts of patriotism, high responsibility, and of courage, that could very well save lives. 
Let their example be the benchmark for the level of cooperation we need from the public. My teams are tried and tested. They will put in every hour of work that is needed to keep the country safe. But we cannot defeat this virus alone. We succeeded before because we embraced a whole-of-nation effort to snuff out the spread of the virus and flush it from our communities. One of the best ways everyone can help us is by being honest about where they have been and honest about how they are feeling. We are still looking for the driver and passengers of a public minibus that transported the hotel staff and one other family member from Lautoka minibus stand to Kerebula in Nadi at around 5pm on Saturday April 17th–– we urge the public to help us identify this vehicle and driver. 
Right now, the virus still has the advantage. If we stay complacent, we will stay behind the spread. So please, wear your masks, keep your physical distance of two metres, turn on your careFIJI app and stay home as much as possible. Do not go to people’s homes for gatherings. Do not share takis or bilos. Use your God-given good sense to protect yourselves and your families. The Police and our health officials cannot be everywhere enforcing these measures –– it is up to each of you, the Fijian people, to make smart choices that keep this virus from spreading further. 
We’ll now take some questions from the media. Though before I do, I want to make another important point. We are still seeing media outlets bypassing official sources, publishing stories without the proper context and sparking panic among the public. That sort of reckless reporting can set back this entire containment strategy. It puts lives in danger, driving people to make bad decisions with bad information. We hold these briefings, every day, to get people the best available information–– and we wait until we have the facts so that they can be communicated as clearly as possible to the public. We don’t deal in rumours. We rely on facts, and the media must hold themselves to that same standard. Do not publish panicked nonsense for the sake of likes on Facebook or clicks on your website –– the nation needs you to do better. 
And when you come here to pose questions ––for the sake of people’s time and data, please do not ask us questions about anything we have already covered. Some of you have been very insistent about asking questions we have already answered. Please, let’s keep this focussed on new information the public does not already know. 
Thank you.