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The Fijian government is working closely with other international agencies to ensure if a COVID-19 vaccine is available, it should not be commodified.
Attorney Geneeral and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said they’re in talks with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund regarding the issue, saying the availability of any vaccine must be treated as a public good.
Sayed-Khaiyum said this is to ensure that small and developing countries have equal access to any COVID-19 vaccine.
“If it suddenly becomes commodified than essentially we’ll be at the bottom of the chain in terms of accessing the vaccine because everybody is going to rush for it. Of course you have the pricing issue surrounding that. We are talking to organisations like the World Bank and the IMF. Fiji is currently the chair of the small states forum in the World Bank Group, so we are taking advantage of that.”
Many leading researchers in the world are working on producing a COVID-19 vaccine with some countries already conducting tests.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Economy has stated that health imperative takes precedence over generating revenue.
Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted this while responding to a question raised during the Nadi Chamber of Commerce & Industry Business Forum as to when night clubs will re-open.
The Minister for Economy says the government is making a constant review on re-opening night clubs and other businesses that are currently closed.
The Minister reassured operators they will be informed accordingly when a review is carried out.
He said that like overseas, patrons are hard to control after a few drinks and clubs are one of the places where an outbreak has occurred.
Sayed-Khaiyum said night clubs operators will be consulted and they will also need to adapt to the new environment.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
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