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COVID-19: Traders in Taveuni worried about basic food supplies

Taveuni has been without shipping services for the past week and traders are worried about supplies of basic food items. Businessman Rohil Chand who owns chain of supermarkets on the island said they would soon...

Ministers will make England lockdown easing decision on June 14

Ministers will make a decision on June 14 about whether or not to proceed with the final phase of lockdown easing in England, health minister Matt Hancock said on Sunday, describing the pandemic as “under control”. On Friday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Britain would accelerate its COVID-19 vaccination programme to try to contain...

Adhere to advice, commerce urges members

The Savusavu Chamber of Commerce has urged its members to adhere to the COVID-19 advice ensuring customers also follow the basic rules while shopping in town. The chamber president Ravi Chhaganlal said this was important to ensure that the North remained free of COVID-19. “We believe this is very important and we have continued to...

Police: Two detained for not wearing mask

Two people were arrested last Friday for not wearing masks while travelling in a public vehicle in Levuka. This, according to Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu, who also said the two cases recorded in Levuka was alcohol-related. ACP Tudravu said 53 people were arrested over a 24-hour period on Saturday for breaching curfew hours...

‘Youths top arrest’

Majority of people arrested for breaching curfew hours are youths, says Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu. Speaking at a news conference in Suva last week, he said the cases are always alcohol-related. “Majority of those who are arrested are youths,” ACP Tudravu said. “They drink liquor and go out during the curfew hours. “They...

Chileans urged to make voices heard on rewriting of constitution

Chileans were urged on Sunday to follow through on their call for a new constitution as voting to pick the architects of the charter entered a second day amid concerns about low turn-out, particularly in the country’s more marginalized areas. Observers around the South American nation reported a slow start in most polling stations on...

People line up at checkpoints to send items

In the lead-up to the Suva-Nausori lockdown that began 11pm on Friday, people lined up at the Nakasi border to get things to and from loved ones separated by traffic cones and barriers. The lines to a tent where police had set up a registration point for Fijians coming to the border stretched almost as...

Litiana sells cassava to buy essentials

Litiana Delailoa and her children sat at the corner of Nasinu and Daniva roads in Valelevu outside Suva last Friday selling cassava. She said the money they earned would be for essentials to last them through the Suva-Nausori lockdown which began 11pm on Friday. Being a single mother, she said the burden of providing for...

Nisha struggles for daughter’s medicine

Jaibul Nisha, 76, is struggling to foot for her daughter’s weekly medication bills. Her 50-year-old daughter developed some conditions when she was only three years old and the blood clots in her brain denied her a normal life. “She takes liquid medicine and tablets every day and the liquid one which costs us around $13...

Club responds to a call from mothers at hospital for diapers

Staff members of the Sugar Cane Growers Fund responded to a call from mothers at the Lautoka Hospital’s Maternity Ward who were running out of diapers for their newborns. The supplies were delivered on Thursday through the company’s Sports and Social Club. Fund chief executive officer Raj Sharma said members of the club came across...

COVID-19: 33 arrests for breach in curfew and health restrictions

Police arrested 30 people over the last 24-hours concerning the COVID-19 restrictions as well as the curfew order. Acting Commissioner of Police, Rusiate Tudravu said the Southern Division recorded 22 cases, the Western Division with six cases while two cases were recorded in the Eastern Division. He said three men in their 30’s were arrested...

Top Indian virologist quits government panel after airing differences

A top Indian virologist has resigned from a forum of scientific advisers set up by the government to detect variants of the coronavirus, he told Reuters on Sunday, weeks after questioning the authorities’ handling of the pandemic. Shahid Jameel, chair of the scientific advisory group of the forum known as INSACOG, declined to give a reason...

Rise in food prices worry consumers

People are paying more for basic food items than what they were paying earlier this year. The Fiji Times caught up with avid shoppers Maureen Narayan and Ned Gacevi as they were doing last-minute shopping to stock up on food and essentials before the Suva-Nausori lockdown which began on Friday. Ms Narayan said some items...

Frontline workers ‘need help’

People who are at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 in Fiji need to undergo psychological counselling. This according to mental health specialist Peter Schultz, the founder of Operation Foundation. “Frontline workers live in the reality of increased risk of exposure, and the pressure to serve and protect the community,” he said. “They will...

Food ration distribution starts

Families who are in need will have food delivered to their doorsteps. That was the reassurance from Economy Ministry manager and co-ordinator infrastructure sector Kamal Gounder as food ration distributions for families during this lockdown started yesterday. He said the helpline 161 was flooded with people who were in need of food. “We are accessing...

U.S. says ready to help Israel, Palestinians if they seek a ceasefire

The United States told the United Nations Security Council on Sunday it has made clear to Israel, the Palestinians and others that it is ready to offer support “should the parties seek a ceasefire” to end the worsening violence between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza. “The United States has been working tirelessly through diplomatic...

Concern over mental health

The condition of people living with mental health problems will deteriorate because they cannot access clinical support during the COVID-19 outbreak. This, according to Empower Pacific CEO Patrick Morgam. He said people with mental health issues also found it difficult to access medication and this resulted in relapses. “They felt generally confused about how and...

Call for bipartisan approach – Bring all the brains together: Ali

Bring the brains together to effectively combat COVID-19. That was the call from Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali to Government. She said the fight against COVID-19 needed a bipartisanship approach. Ms Ali said Government needed to rope in civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations and the Opposition to assist them in the fight. “You...

More tents to be erected at field hospital

More tents are expected to be erected at the Fiji Emergency Medical Assistance Team (FEMAT) field hospital at Nadovu, Lautoka facility as the number of admissions surges daily. Head of FEMAT Dr Luke Nasedra said they had 25 admissions as of last Friday and were about to exhaust the 28-bed facility. “When we started on...

Concern for frontline workers

People who are at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 could reach a breaking point because of the stress and pressure associated with their work environment. If not treated it could result in increased mental health issues. These are the views of Fiji’s renowned psychotherapist, Selina Kuruleca and founder of Operation Foundation, the Reverend...

India promises more vaccines as daily COVID-19 deaths stay above 4,000

Some Indian states said on Sunday they would extend COVID-19 lockdowns to help contain the pandemic, which has killed more than 270,000 people in the country, as the federal government pledged to bolster vaccine supplies. The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in India has risen more than 4,000 for the...

Frustration – Impacts of COVID-19 take toll on mental health: Kuruleca

THE surge in people taking out their frustration on social media is a result of the devastating impact of COVID-19 on mental health, says Fiji’s renowned psychotherapist, Selina Kuruleca. She said people’s mental health could be at a breaking point because just when people thought the situation was slowly getting back to normal the B.1.617...

Mt Kasi landowners disagree with Government’s decision

Mount Kasi mining prospect landowners do not agree with Government’s decision in awarding the development tender to Vatukoula Gold Mines Ltd. Cakaudrove villagers of Dawara say they would not allow company officials to access the site which sits on their land. Mataqali Naveitokaki spokesman Emori Bukadina said they would not sign the Access and Compensation...

Israel air strikes kill 42 Palestinians, rockets fired from Gaza

An Israeli air strike in Gaza destroyed several homes on Sunday, killing 42 Palestinians, including 10 children, health officials said, as militants fired rockets at Israel with no end in sight to seven days of fighting. The Israeli military said the civilian casualties were unintentional. It said its jets attacked a tunnel system used by militants,...

COVID-19: Widespread compliance with lockdown measures

The Fiji Police Force has reported widespread compliance with the lockdown measures in Suva and Nausori. Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong highlighted this in a statement last night saying they appreciate the public’s cooperation as they efficiently utilise the lockdown period to trace, test and, if necessary, isolate and treat COVID-positive patients....

Philippines douses five-hour blaze in hospital treating COVID-19 patients

Firefighters put out a blaze early on Sunday at one of the Philippines’ largest hospitals that had prompted the evacuation of dozens of patients from the facility, which also treats coronavirus sufferers. No casualties were reported in the fire at the government-run Philippine General Hospital in the capital, Manila, which was extinguished at dawn. Its...

COVID-19: 172 cases since March last year

Fiji has now had 172 cases in total since our first case was detected on March 19, 2020. Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong confirmed this in a statement last night. This was after he also confirmed four new cases of COVID-19. Dr Fong said the new cases all stem from the cluster in...

U.S. fuel crisis eases as pipeline returns to normal after hack

Widespread gasoline shortages along the U.S. East Coast began to ease slightly on Saturday as the operator of the nation’s biggest fuel pipeline said it was back to delivering “millions of gallons per hour” following last week’s cyberattack. Ships and trucks were deployed to fill up storage tanks after the six-day Colonial Pipeline shutdown, the...

COVID-19: Ministry prepared for rising number of cases

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is prepared for the rising numbers of new COVID-19 cases over the next two days. Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong clarified is in a statement yesterday. Dr Fong said this is because they are expecting a high volume of swab results from primary and secondary contacts of...

Explainer: Why has conflict flared up in Israel and Gaza?

The skies above Israel and the Palestinian Territories are again alight with explosions. The death toll is climbing and there is no end to the fighting in sight. This is the latest eruption of long-running tensions that date back to conflict over the establishment of Israel and the displacement of Palestinians. It is the worst...

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