Regional

8th April

STC Harold: Power outage in Central and Western divisions caused by fallen poles

The unplanned power outage in parts of the Central Division and the Western Division is caused by fallen power poles and broken power lines as a result of the current weather situation affecting the Fiji...

STC Harold: NDMO urges headmen and community leaders to evacuate

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is calling on all village headmen and community leaders to evacuate their people to a safe place and move to higher ground. NDMO director Vasiti Soko has also called on people living on Kadavu, Vatulele, southern parts of Lau, Ono-i-Lau, from Momi to Pacific Harbour, Beqa, Moala, Matuku, Totoya,...

Nigeria seeks $6.9 billion from lenders to fund coronavirus fight

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria has requested $6.9 billion from multilateral lenders to combat the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Africa’s biggest economy, the finance minister said on Monday. Nigeria, whose revenues have tumbled with the fall in oil prices, has asked for $3.4 billion from the International Monetary Fund, $2.5 billion from the World...

STC Harold: Flooding reported in Solevu Village, Malolo

Solevu Village in Malolo is under floodwaters. This according to villager Sekove Nasilasila who said their fibreglass boats anchored at the shore had all been dragged into the village by floodwaters. He said the village was now experiencing strong winds, rough seas, and a heavy downpour. Villagers have also put up hurricane shutters.    

STC Harold: All LTA offices close; Staff advised to stay home

All Land Transport Authority (LTA) offices across the country have been closed and all vehicle testing at LTA facilities are suspended for today. LTA stated this was a precautionary measure as Severe TC Harold headed towards the Fiji group. The authority has also advised all its staff members to stay home today. “Opening of the...

STC Harold: Several roads closed; Flooding and fallen trees reported

Several roads have been closed and blocked because of flooding and fallen trees as Severe Tropical Cyclone Harold heads for the Fiji group. The Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) has confirmed that Queens Road at Nabukelevu Road junction in Navua is closed due to flooding, while the Tavualevu Bridge in Tavua is also underwater. The Kings...

Hungry times at Thailand’s elephant sanctuaries as coronavirus hits tourism

KANCHANABURI, Thailand (Reuters) – The mahouts at an elephant sanctuary in western Thailand have resorted to swimming in a nearby lake to gather weeds for fodder, as a nationwide lockdown has left them without tourist dollars needed to pay for the fruit their animals like. In a normal season, the Taweechai Elephant Camp in the...

STC Harold: Nine houses destroyed and several injured in Tailevu; Police team deployed

Police were deployed to Wainokavula Village in Tailevu following reports that nine houses were destroyed and several people injured as Severe Tropical Cyclone Harold is expected to hit the Fiji group today. Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said they continued to receive reports from Momi Village in Tailevu and Vusuya Village, outside Nausori of houses being...

STC Harold: Tavua’s Nasivi river breaks it bank

The Nasivi river in Tavua has broken its bank and floodwaters have spilled onto the main Kings highway. The Fiji Roads Authority is advising the Tavualevu bridge is underwater and closed to all traffic. The Kings highway is closed at the bridge. The Fiji Meteorological Department issued a flash flood warning for low-lying areas, areas...

Weather watch: Hurricane warning remains in force for Kadavu and Ono-i-Lau

A hurricane warning remains in force for Kadavu and Ono-i-Lau. The weather forecasting office in Nadi has extended the warning for southern parts of Viti Levu – from Momi to Pacific Harbour, Beqa, Vatulele, Matuku and Vatoa. A storm warning also remains in force for Moala, Matuku, Totoya, and Vanuavatu, and it is now in...

STC Harold: Strong winds felt across Vanua Levu

Strong winds are being felt across Vanua Levu with minimum rainfall. Most shops including bakery outlets have remained closed around Labasa. On Taveuni, villagers say strongs winds have been battering them from midnight but not as strong as what they experienced with TC Winston. Vuna district rep Laisiasa Tuimouta said villagers had been advised to...

Women and low-paid among worst hit by UK coronavirus job cuts

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Low-paid workers, young people and women are most likely to have lost work in Britain due to the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus lockdown, researchers said on Monday. Before the pandemic, about one in seven British employees worked in sectors that have largely or entirely shut down, with those...

U.N. urges countries to extend care to all migrants to combat coronavirus

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and trafficking victims worldwide should be granted access to healthcare and welfare – regardless of their legal status – to protect them during the coronavirus pandemic, two United Nations experts said on Monday. Migrants working in sectors such as farming or the shadow economy often lack...

COVID-19: I just need food, says Khairul

Seventy-three-year-old Khairul Nisha of Tomuka, Lautoka, is living on handouts from kind-hearted neighbours after her housekeeping and babysitting job ended last month. “The family I used to go to do work couldn’t support me anymore,” she said. “I used to do babysitting in one house and housekeeping for another house but they have both stopped...

Testing times for India in race to head off coronavirus epidemic

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India, like a lot of countries plunged into crisis by the pandemic, is struggling to ramp up testing for the coronavirus, but in few places would the odds of containing the disease appear so bleak should domestic transmission start to multiply. Officials hope to be testing 20,000 people daily by the...

COVID-19: Donors told of double dippers

Donors assisting affected families in the Western Division have been urged to contact the Commissioner Western’s office operations centre of the communities or families they will be assisting. Fiji Council of Social Services team leader West Mosese Baseisei said this was to ensure that there was no double-dipping by beneficiaries. “We would like them to...

COVID-19: Fijian Government pays out $5m to FNPF

The Fijian Government has disbursed $5million to the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) as of last week. Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said they expected to disburse more funds this week. These funds are sourced from the COVID-19 Response Budget. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Government continued to be concerned with employers not giving their...

Venezuela elderly feel ‘sentenced to euthanasia’ under coronavirus quarantine

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan retirees Carlos Blanco, 81, and Olga Rodriguez, 78, have for more than a year been unable to purchase the diabetes medication they need, as the country’s hyperinflation has left their monthly pensions insufficient to buy even a loaf of bread. Already at high risk in the coronavirus pandemic because of their...

COVID-19: Export companies allowed in lockdown areas – A-G

Companies involved in the export of goods to Pacific Island countries will be allowed to operate in the lockdown areas of Suva and Lautoka, says Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. During a press conference last Saturday, he said businesses in some sectors of the economy were allowed to operate from lockdown areas and...

COVID-19: Trucks crossing borders need to sanitise

Trucks carrying essential supplies will now be allowed to cross the lockdown borders. This, according to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services who said all trucks crossing the lockdown border would need to be decontaminated at the border before crossing. The ministry said trucking companies that wanted to send their trucks...

Cemex resumes Mexico operations after brief pause due to coronavirus

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican cement company Cemex said on Monday it would resume operations in the country, hours after announcing a pause, as fresh guidelines from the government permitted such a move. “In accordance with the technical guidelines published today in the official Mexican gazette, the company will resume operations in Mexico to support...

COVID-19: We are not free – Qiliho

Lautoka is still not free from the COVID-19 pandemic despite the lifting of the lockdown restriction of the greater Lautoka area at 5am today. That’s the word from Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho. He said with the lockdown lifted, measures implemented across the country in regards to loitering, the ban on social gatherings and the...

COVID-19: 28 Police officers under self-quarantine up north

Twenty-eight police officers are presently under self-quarantine on Vanua Levu. Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho revealed this during a press conference in Suva yesterday. “I have 28 police officers who were on the ship that went across to Vanua Levu with one of our positive cases and they are on self-quarantine at the moment,” he...

STC Harold: Fiji Red Cross works with Vanuatu and Solomon counterparts

The Fiji Red Cross Society is working with its Vanuatu and Solomon counterparts to support communities in Vanuatu affected by Severe Tropical Cyclone Harold. The Category 5 storm wreaked havoc across the country when it made landfall on the Pacific island nation on Monday. According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent...

Mormon church to open first temple in mainland China

(Reuters) – The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church, plans to open its first temple in mainland China at a time when Beijing has been clamping down steadily on religious freedoms. The temple in the eastern Chinese city of Shanghai will help fill a gap left by...

COVID-19: Employers have not been forthcoming – A-G

Fiji’s Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has encouraged employers in the Suva and Lautoka lockdown areas to assist their employees access Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) monies. He said they had found that some employers were hesitant to assist their workers access FNPF COVID-19 assistance because they were late in their FNPF contributions....

COVID-19: Fiji Police to investigate those who defied mandatory self-quarantine

Fijian Police will investigate all Fijians who defied mandatory self-quarantine. However, Police will start investigations after their clearance from health authorities, says Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho. “We are waiting for the clearance to happen before we could finish the process,” Brig-Gen Qiliho said. “They have been warned and we have noted the breaches that they...

COVID-19: Breaking quarantine makes it difficult for healthcare workers – Minister

Healthcare workers in Fiji have enough to worry about already and when people break quarantine or violate curfew hours, they are making it difficult for them, says Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete. “I want to stress that our health workers are not just dealing with the virus, they are still responsible for the daily day...

COVID-19: Fiji records two new cases; low risk of further transmission

Fiji has recorded two more confirmed cases of COVID-19 which have low risk of further transmission, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. The first new case is the wife of the 57-year-old man from Labasa — case number 9 — who recently returned from a large religious gathering in New Delhi, India. Mr Bainimarama confirmed the...

COVID-19: Man smuggles way into Lautoka confined area

A man who recently returned from Uruguay and smuggled his way into Lautoka has been tested for COVID-19 after displaying symptoms. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the man not only had fever but was also displaying other symptoms. His test results will be released this morning. “Upon further investigation, we discovered that one of these...

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