first_imgHe said the man was one of nine active cases who had been held in quarantine since they were repatriated from India on July 1.Before then, Fiji had enjoyed a spell of four weeks virus-free, after the 18 cases it had previously recorded all recovered.Fiji and other Pacific island nations were initially seen as among the world’s most vulnerable to the virus because of under-resourced health infrastructure and high rates of health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.However, nations in the region acted swiftly and made the costly decision to seal borders, shutting down the tourism trade that powered their economies in order to protect their populations. Fiji announced its first coronavirus death Friday, but health officials assured people in the Pacific island nation that it was not the precursor to a major outbreak.Health Minister Ifereimi Waqainabete said the victim was a 66-year-old man who tested positive after returning from India, where he had undergone surgery for a long-standing heart condition.”Sadly, despite the best efforts of our health-care professionals, this gentleman passed away yesterday in the isolation ward at Lautoka hospital due to complications from COVID-19,” Waqainabete told reporters. Read also: ‘Answered prayers’: Fiji declares itself coronavirus freeWaqainabete said the dead man, and the other eight cases among the group from India, had “zero interaction” with Fiji’s general population.”In many other countries, news of the first death due to the virus has signaled an intensifying of the outbreak,” he said.”This is not the case for Fiji. The virus is not present in Fijian communities, nor is there any risk of infection among the Fijian public.”Waqainabete offered condolences to the man’s family.”This is an enormous tragedy for them, and I can tell you that our staff at the ministry of health and medical services are devastated by this loss as well,” he said.He said Fiji remained committed to repatriating its citizens and had confidence in measures enacted to isolate any cases among returnees.Topics :last_img read more

first_imgThe Dutch state is to issue green bonds as of 2019, Wopke Hoekstra, the finance minister has announced.This would make the Netherlands the first AAA-rated country to issue government bonds aimed at financing sustainable investments.In a letter to parliament, Hoekstra said the country could spend between €3.5bn and €5bn annually on green investments, such as railway infrastructure, energy saving projects, and the development of sustainable energy.He also cited the Delta fund, aimed at protecting the Netherlands against the effects of climate change, including flooding and the provision of fresh water. According to Hoekstra, issuing green bonds was not only feasible but also desirable, as the Dutch treasury supported the development of a solid green capital market, and institutional investors had shown a need for sustainable investment opportunities.“Investors increasingly want to take a stake in sustainable projects. But for safe green government bonds, they have to diverge to foreign players,” argued the minister.He also said that the Dutch government wanted to set an example by issuing green bonds and to be transparant about the results.Within the euro-zone, Belgium, France and Ireland have already successfully issued green government bonds, with Dutch pension funds participating in all of them.Last year, the large Dutch asset managers APG, PGGM and MN subscribed for a combined amount of €967m of French green bonds, with one-fifth of the issued bonds in total being purchased by Dutch investors.Earlier this year, the €414bn civil service scheme ABP took a €360m stake in green bonds issued by Belgium and €110m in Irish green government paper.The pension fund has targeted €58bn of sustainable investments by 2020.Dutch companies and banks have issued €15bn in total in green bonds.Hoekstra said a framework had to be designed and subsequently checked against the international standard of the Green Bond Principles.He added that he would provide details such as scale, duration and an issue date later.last_img read more