The Fiji Government has shut down work on the renovations of the Suva Civic Centre after concerns about asbestos.
The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate, said the closure followed an assessment from Pacifica Environmental Services and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP).
The minister said the SPREP report identified that the bulk material tested was 30 per cent asbestos but it was not airborne.
Mr Usamate said the Suva City Council had now cordoned off the surrounding areas, would hire a consultant to immediately undertake air sampling and would wash down surrounding buildings.
The minister has called on people not to panic as the chance of air contamination was low due to the containment work already undertaken.
He said people should avoid travelling near the Civic Centre.