Local News

Advisory: Fisheries service centres closed till Wednesday

The Ministry of Fisheries service centres around the country will be closed till Wednesday, May 19, 2021. The Ministry in a statement today said its services have also been disrupted during this lockdown period. Members...

COVID-19: Newborn monthly check-up offered at Girmit Centre

Nursing mothers in Lautoka can now visit the Girmit Centre near Nadovu Park for their newborn monthly check-up. The public health services were moved to Girmit Centre as part of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services continuous efforts to decentralise services within Lautoka as the Subdivisional Hospital continued with a 21-day lockdown. Services offered...

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 run short of goods, basic food items, gas, fuel and alcohol. “We hope good sense prevails because dalo and yaqona...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

What’s happening today!

Bula vinaka Hope you’re all keeping safe out there and staying home in your own bubble. Continue to practise those safety precautions and also remember to stay informed. There are some online events happening today that you or your family members may be interested in. But first up, here is your weather forecast for today....

16th May

COVID-19: Four new cases reported; all cases stem from the Nadali cluster

Fiji has reported four new cases of COVID-19. This was confirmed by the Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong in a statement today. Dr Fong said the new cases all stem from the cluster in Nadali, Nausori, which is believed to have started with a close contact case of the first Makoi cluster. “The four...

Fisherman’s plans shattered

If you have nothing in your pocket, what can you give? This was the lament by Lautoka fisherman Faruk Feroz Ali whose plans for Eid Mubarak this year took a back seat after he could not sustain his fishing business. “Right now we are relying on food donations from the $90 assistance and from the...

Food packs, vouchers for families

Non organisation Being Helping Hands Fiji distributed food packs and vouchers for Eid to more than 20 families in Nausori. Organisation coordinator Nausori Joytika Lal said the aim of the distribution was to assist families struggling to feed their families. “We wanted to help those who had difficulties putting food on their table during this...

Eid celebration scaled down

Nausori market vendor Zabin Raj says she lost more than $500 worth of vegetables during the recent three-day snap lockdown and that set the stage for a scaled-down Eid celebration this week. She said things were so bad that this would be the first year her family members would not be wearing new clothes to...

Woman hardly earns enough

Sereana Koroi, a food and savoury seller in Nadi, says of the 16 people who used to do the same business, 12 have closed down their stalls. She said her biggest concern was how long she could continue. “I also worry about those 12 stall owners because many of them are sole breadwinners in their...

Man struggles to make ends meet for family

While hundreds of Fijians flocked to the supermarkets to stock up food items and groceries, Wasu Dean and his nephews did not have the luxury to do shopping, instead, they went fishing to sustain themselves during the four-day lockdown. The 47-year-old man has been out at sea since last week trying to get a good...

Vendors hit hard by COVID restrictions

Three months after recovering from the impact of two cyclones and just when businesses were picking up, Labasa market vendors were hit hard again by the COVID-19 containment restrictions and lockdowns. Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasa and TC Ana had an impact on vegetables and crop supply after farms were destroyed. Vendor Shalend Prasad said the...

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