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COVID-19: Fiji’s Health Ministry stands by decision to delay official death announcement

Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services has stood by its decision to delay the announcement of the death of the 53-year-old patient at Lautoka hospital who tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. Health ministry permanent...

COVID-19: Fiji announces another 4 new cases; Raiwaqa Health Centre closed to the public

Fiji has announced another four new cases of COVID-19 and includes two more health workers testing positive for the virus. The first case is a border quarantine case – a 22-year-old Tongan national returning from Guyana and he had travelled with another border quarantine case announced earlier – a soldier returning from international peacekeeping duties....

Tamavua youths take a proactive approach

Youths from Tamavua Village are taking a proactive approach to protect their families from the perils of COVID-19. Members of the Tamavua Youth Club, Savura netters and rugby teams are manning a checkpoint where anyone entering the village needs to have their details recorded and temperature taken. Tamavua Youth Club assistant leader Kinijioji Balawa said...

COVID scare at G7 meeting after Indian delegates test positive

LONDON (Reuters) -The Group of Seven meeting in London was hit by a COVID-19 scare on Wednesday when India’s foreign minister and his entire team said they were self-isolating after two delegation members tested positive. Britain is hosting the three-day foreign ministers’ meeting – the first such G7 event in two years – which has...

Hitmaker with an ear for good music

For more than 40 years, Ramesh Hargovind has been a hitmaker. He has recorded and produced more than 47,000 songs by countless artists. The Toorak resident has travelled the length and breadth of Fiji and faithfully captured English, iTaukei and Hindi music created by locals. And in the process he helped transform ordinary men and...

Kneejerk reaction to program, says FCSS

THE food deployment program during the lockdown in the Suva-Nausori corridor over the weekend was poorly planned, says Fiji Council of Social Services (FCSS) executive director Vani Catanasiga. She said it was evident because they had received feedback from community members in the area throughout the weekend. She said it was an almost kneejerk reaction...

Weather watch: Heavy rain warning cancelled; flood warning remains

A heavy rain warning previously in force for the eastern half of Viti Levu (from Pacific harbour through to Suva to Nausori up to Tailevu), Kadavu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, Lomaiviti and Lau group is now cancelled. According to the weather bulletin issued from the National Weather Forecasting Centre in Nadi this...

Britain ends row with EU over diplomatic status of London ambassador

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has granted full diplomatic status to the European Union’s ambassador in London, ending a dispute that has strained relations between the two sides after Brexit. Britain initially refused to grant the same diplomatic status and privileges to EU Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida as it gives to envoys of other countries,...

Preventing drowning – Accounting for a greater loss of life annually

The United Nations General Assembly passed its first-ever Resolution on Global Drowning Prevention (A/75/L.76) during the 75th session on April 28, 2021. The resolution was proposed by Bangladesh and Ireland, and co-sponsored by more than 79 nations, including Australia. In introducing the Resolution at the UN General Assembly in New York, the Ambassador and permanent...

Food ration saga – Tread wisely on people’s emotions, says Narube

Government should tread wisely on people’s emotions in these difficult times, says Unity Fiji party leader Savenaca Narube. Speaking on the food distribution by Government during the lockdown in the Suva-Nausori area, he said it was clearly inadequate and unfair to those other areas facing the same or even worse situation. He said the distribution...

US birth rate lowest since 1979 as pandemic-led stress rises

(Reuters) -Americans had the lowest number of babies in more than four decades last year, mirroring a slump in European birth rates, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced more people to take care of sick family members or deal with job losses. Birth rate in the United States fell 4% in 2020 to about 3.6 million...

Effects of COVID-19- The road back to economic survival

As the global economy tries to get back on its feet despite the pandemic, Fiji’s national financial system is no doubt struggling as well. The tourism industry was knocked over in 2020 because of the border closures and absence of international travel. The resultant $3 billion in lost revenue is not the only contributing factor...

Nausori burglary suspect charged and to appear in court tomorrow

A man who is alleged to have stolen assorted items, including cash worth more than $12,000 from a shop in Nausori has been charged and will be appearing in court tomorrow. According to Police, the 22-year-old is a suspect in a burglary case where he allegedly broke into a shop at Nausori Town on Tuesday...

Call for more midwives as millions die in childbirth

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Midwives are routinely “overlooked and ignored” despite saving millions of lives a year, the United Nations said on Wednesday, urging the world to hire more women and safeguard new life. In a joint report compiled with medics, the U.N. said urgent investment was needed to plug a global shortfall of...

Food security a concern for family

Flash flooding on Tuesday stopped Naduru residents in Nausori from getting essentials from shops. People also said the crops they were relying on for food during the COVID-19 containment had been damaged by the floods. Taraivini Takayawa said food security was now a huge issue for her family. “My father planted some dalo and other...

Canteen business runs out of stock

Single mother Tarusila Vunisa says the small canteen business her family depends entirely on has run out of stock because she used the earnings to meet their bills and daily needs during the Lautoka lockdown. The 37-year-old said the business used to cater for the needs of her three children aged 11, 5 and 2....

Ali: Tourism vision realised early

The Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport’s vision of the sectoral plan – Fijian Tourism (FT) 2021 – to achieve a $2.2 billion industry was realised ahead of schedule. This was revealed by Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport permanent secretary Shaheen Ali during virtual submissions on the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and...

UK royal Meghan wins copyright case over letter to father

LONDON (Reuters) – Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, on Wednesday won her outstanding copyright claim against a British tabloid after London’s High Court heard neither Queen Elizabeth nor a former senior royal aide claimed ownership of a letter she had written to her estranged father. Meghan, 39, wife of the monarch’s grandson Prince Harry, won...

COVID-19: Navatuyaba youths rotate shifts to protect village; run errands for quarantined family

More than 40 youths in Navatuyaba Village, Toga, Rewa have been actively involved in cordoning off the village in response to the increase in COVID-19 virus cases in the country. Village headman Ratu Peni Todua, 53, said the young men and women rotated in night and day shifts, keeping watch on the village around the...

‘System error’ causes delay

The Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) has apologised to members for the delay in the release of the Cycle 3 payments as those who applied for Phase 2 Round 5 would have received their payment yesterday. This, according to FNPF chief operating officer Pravinesh Singh in a statement yesterday, where it was confirmed that because...

A-G on mortgage payment issues

Fijians facing issues with meeting their mortgage payments can access up to 50 per cent of their Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) preserved account, says Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. However, he said, there had been no discussions with retailers and banks on freezing hire purchase or loan repayments. “Many people actually have made...

COVID-19: Labasa market vendors feel the pinch

Market vendors in Labasa say they have already felt the pinch of the effects of COVID-19 restrictions following lockdown measures prohibiting villagers from travelling to town. Two hours into their vending business and most were still hopeful for sales as the market had barely had customers. Vendor Shalend Prasad said they recovered from the impacts...

COVID-19: Student arrested for trying to cross border; among 53 arrests for breaching restrictions

A 16-year-old student is one of the 53 people arrested over the last 24 hours for breach of health restrictions and curfew orders after he was trying to cross the border at Wainibuku. Fiji’s Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu said while this had shown that some people were still taking advantage of the instructions...

In COVID-hit India, a 26-year-old doctor decides who lives and who dies

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Rohan Aggarwal is 26 years old. He doesn’t even complete his medical training until next year. And yet, at one of the best hospitals in India, he is the doctor who must decide who will live and who will die when patients come to him gasping for breath, their family members...

Fiji Airports: Safety measures accredited

Fiji Airports COVID-19 health and safety measures are accredited by the Airports Council International (ACI), says communications manager Christopher Chand. “This is the Airport Health Accreditation we received from ACI in November last year based on Fiji Airports Travel Safe program,” he said. “Our Travel Safe program prioritises the health and safety of our passengers...

COVID-19: SODELPA calls for opening of Ba hospital to ease pressure

The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) has called on the Government to open the new Ba Hospital after the closure of the Lautoka Hospital to members of the public following the announcement of the new positive case yesterday. In a statement released today, SODELPA leader Viliame Gavoka said: “SODELPA regrets the development at Lautoka Hospital...

Dr Fong: Businesses in breach of restrictions will be closed

IF businesses do not adhere to social distancing requirements, they will be closed down, says Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong. Referring to concerns raised about packed supermarkets, Dr Fong said the “soft approach” had been tried and the ministry would now be more firm on businesses that were not compliant with COVID-19...

Residents affected by disruptions

SOME residents in Cunningham, Tacirua, Khalsa Rd, Sakoca, Nadera, Nadawa and Makoi have been without water for up to five days. Femia Saurara of Cunningham Stage 4 said water supply stopped early on Monday morning but was restored yesterday. She said water trucks were delivering water to affected residents over the past two days. In...

Five days without water

Residents of Sakoca have been without water for five days. Water supply was stopped on Friday night and still not restored when a team from The Fiji Times visited the area yesterday. Fortunately, some residents who had storage containers had collected rainwater. When this newspaper visited Sakoca yesterday, Virisine Bolekinaivalu was washing clothes in a...

Clashes in Jerusalem ahead of court case on Palestinians’ eviction

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The troubles erupt after the evening meal that breaks the Ramadan fast, when Jewish settlers, guarded by Israeli police, and Palestinians trade abuse on the streets of East Jerusalem. A long-running legal case, in which several Palestinian families face eviction from homes on land claimed by settlers, is at the heart of...

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