Council Calls on Consumers and Businesses to Join the Fight Against COVID

April 21, 2021

Consumers must comply with COVID 19 safety protocols when out and about shopping by downloading and activating the CareFiji app, wearing facemasks and practicing other safety measures which has been mandated by relevant authorities and being implemented by traders and service providers. This has been emphasized by the Consumer Council of Fiji today after discovering cases whereby certain consumers were reluctant to adhere to these COVID safe measures before entering supermarkets.

CCoF Chief Executive Ms Seema Shandil while highlighting the critical role of consumers in curbing further spread of the deadly virus has reminded Fijians of their consumer responsibility of solidarity – working together with the Government, health officials, security personnel and traders and service providers.

“The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has revealed that the latest two positive COVID 19 patients represent the highest-risk cases Fiji has ever contended with, therefore the responsibility of each consumer has now become more instrumental than ever. We are reminding consumers that businesses have the right to ask consumers to show the CareFiji app on their smart phones and for consumers to wear personal protective equipment such as facemasks in the lockdown areas. We are also encouraging consumers to willingly comply to these and any other requirements as these are life saving measures,” said Ms Shandil.

The Council has stressed that when consumers are going out and about shopping or accessing essential services, they must take every precaution as advised by the relevant authorities to safeguard themselves and those around them.

Meanwhile, businesses are also being warned that they must not hike prices of essentials such as hand sanitizers, facemasks and other personal protective equipment.

“We are calling on the business community to retail lifesaving essentials such as PPEs at affordable prices. A sudden hike in prices of such essentials would mean that ordinary Fijians will not be able to afford it hence leaving them without crucial protection needed to safeguard them and their loved ones. Last year we received close to 100 cases of price gouging by businesses after the first COVID 19 case was announced. We do not want to see history repeating itself whereby businesses use crises to profiteer off the suffering of ordinary people,” said Ms Shandil.

CCoF is also reminding consumers that the Council’s operations are unhindered and anyone seeking advice on consumer issues can call the toll-free number 155 or lodge a complaint using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app.