Local News

64 COVID-patients on oxygen support and 3 on ventilators – Dr Tudravu

Sixty-four COVID-19 patients are currently on oxygen support while three patients are on ventilators, says Health Ministry chief medical adviser Dr Jemesa Tudravu. He said on Friday that 332 COVID patients were currently admitted in...

Heavy police presence: Officers deployed to carry out awareness campaigns – Tudravu

Heavy police presence was felt in certain parts of the country yesterday as information of an alleged protest against the passing of Bill 17 reached the Fiji Police Force. In Tavua Town, police officers in uniform and civilian clothing patrolled through the streets while police checkpoints were erected at each entry point. A team from...

Traditional roles a vital key in COVID fight

The role of the vanua in the battle against the COVID pandemic has always existed within the structures of the vanua which when activated became a safety net for those in the structure, says Roko Tui Tailevu, Mosese Nakoroi. However, he said, iTaukei people had been disobedient to government advisories and were very vocal against...

People over 50 and at risk of developing severe COVID urged to visit screening clinics

If you are over the age of 50 or have an illness that increases your risk of developing severe COVID-19, come to our screening clinics to get tested and put on the appropriate care pathway where you will be monitored by our health teams. That’s the plea of the Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James...

Vaccine Task Force: Critical to improve clarity and transparency on evolving vaccine market

The Task Force Committee on Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics for Developing Countries says it is critical to improve clarity and transparency around the evolving vaccine market, expected production volumes, delivery schedules, and pre-purchase options. The Task Force – established by the heads of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Health Organization and the...

Weather watch: Heavy swell alert remains in force

A heavy swell alert remains in force for the coastal areas of the Southwest and Southern Viti Levu from Nadi to Natadola, to Coral Coast, to Suva and up to Rewa. The alert is also in force for Southern coastal areas of Kadavu, Beqa, Vatulele, Southern Lomaiviti and Southern Lau group. In its weather bulletin...

Multilateral Task Force urges COVID vaccine manufacturers to scale up production

The Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics for Developing Countries says the supply of CVID-19 doses to COVAX, and low and low-middle income countries are delayed or ‘too slow’. And the Task Force has urged vaccine manufacturers to redouble their efforts to scale up production of vaccines, specifically those countries. The Task Force...

List of selected general practitioners

The Fijian Government has published a list of selected private practitioners around the country under the ‘COVID-19 Engagement of Private Medical General Practitioners Scheme’ who have been approved for services in communities. The approved medical services are as follows: 1. Consultation 2. Review 3. Referrals 4. Injections 5. Dressings 6. Other minor dressings. “General practitioners...

What’s happening today!

  Bula vinaka everyone. We hope you’re all staying well and safe with your families and loved ones in your respective bubbles, and practising every COVID-safety measure that have been advised. Our thoughts and prayers goes out to everyone, especially families who have had their loved ones and friends battling this virus in their homes,...

31st July

Ratu Suliano: “An election campaign budget’

Opposition member of Parliament Ratu Suliano Matanitobua says the 2021-2022 National Budget was a betrayal of the mandate given to Government by those who voted them in. In his contribution to the 2021-2022 Appropriation Bill, Ratu Suliano said everyone could see that the budget prepared by Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was nothing but...

Weather watch: Heavy swell alert in force for coastal areas

A heavy swell alert is now in force for the coastal areas of the Southwest and Southern Viti Levu from Nadi to Natadola, to Coral Coast, to Suva and up to Rewa. The alert is also in force for Southern coastal areas of Kadavu, Beqa, Vatulele, Southern Lomaiviti and Southern Lau group. In its weather...

MP: Frontline workers tired and overworked

Frontline workers are tired, dangerously overworked and do not have enough personal protective equipment, says Opposition MP Dr Ratu Antonio Lalabalavu. He made the comment during debate on the 2021-2022 Appropriation Bill this week. Dr Lalabalavu said some commentators felt frontliners should bear some of the blame for the spread of the virus because they...

COVID-19: Fiji reports 1121 new cases and 6 deaths in two days

New positive COVID-19 infections on Viti Levu remain high with 1121 confirmed cases reported tonight for the 24-hour period that ended at 8am today. And six deaths have also been reported on July 29-30. In his COVID-19 update statement tonight, Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong said 241 cases were from the Western...

2020 Tokyo Olympics: Fantastic Fijiana win historic Bronze medal

The Fijiana side has won Bronze in the Women’s Rugby 7s event at the Tokyo Olympics. This after the Saiasi Fuli coached side beat Great Britain 21-12 in the Bronze medal playoff this evening. Alowesi Nakoci gave Fijiana the perfect start with two tries inside the first seven minutes as Fiji led 14-nil. Great Britain...

Police – Woman dies in road accident; six others treated and sent home

A woman in her late 50s is alleged to be the country’s latest road fatality victim after the vehicle she was travelling in veered off the Kings Road yesterday morning. Police said the woman from Verevere Village was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a 26-year-old man from Nayavutoka Village. The accident occurred near...

Fiji Met office to speed up forecasting

Fiji Met is gearing up and getting ready to ensure that they are up to speed in weather forecasting, in hydrological assessments, forecasting of coastal inundation and also for flooding forecasts as the cyclone season approaches. This, according to Minister for Infrastructure, Meteorological Services, Lands and Mineral Resources Jone Usamate. He said the meteorological services...

Waqanika raises concerns on Bill 17

Removing consent with regards to mortgages and other legal instruments does remove red tape, but only for the benefit of the lessee and financier, not the landowner. Opposition MP Tanya Waqanika made the comment in Parliament in relation to Government’s proposed amendment to the iTaukei Land Trust Act or Bill No.17. “The legal concern that...

Lynda tells PM to take heed of anrgy emojis

Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama should take heed of the angry emojis and abusive remarks levelled at him during his contribution to the 2021-2022 budget in Parliament this week. “The Government has obviously missed the most important point of communication which is defined as an exchange of information,” Ms Tabuya said...

COVID-19 has seriously battered tourism industry, says Lal

Tourism is Fiji’s biggest foreign exchange earner and has been seriously battered by the COVID pandemic. Government backbencher Virendra Lal said the crisis had also taken a significant toll on people not only in Fiji but all across the globe. “This pandemic has viciously brutalised our economy and dealing with the unexpected problems caused by...

Radrodro: Budget has brought great sadness and apprehension

People have seen the failures of Government long before the COVID-19 pandemic, SODELPA MP Salote Radrodro told Parliament this week when contributing to the debate on the 2021-2022 Appropriation Bill that was later passed by the House. The budget, she said, had brought great sadness and apprehension to people because it did nothing to directly...

$43.2m response package for Pacific COVID-19 efforts

UNICEF and the government of Japan recently announced a new $US20.8 million ($F43.2 million) partnership to support Pacific Island governments with their COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts. The partnership covers support to the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands,...

Chief and villagers receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Nacula district high chief Ratu Manasa Naikasowalu was among the first villager in the Yasawa Group to receive the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The district of seven villages was introduced to the vaccination program this week following a three-day awareness program by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. Nacula district spokeswoman Lavenia...

AstraZeneca jab benefits outweigh risks of side effects, says Dr Waqainabete

THE benefits that AstraZeneca outweighs whatever side effects it has, says Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete. He made the comments while responding to a question that was raised to him by this newspaper on why Moderna has been offered for individuals who were above the age of 60 – and not to the younger population...

Fiji’s central bank enhances support facility

The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) Board has announced further enhancements to its Disaster Rehabilitation and Containment Facility (DRCF) to assist businesses. This, following its monthly meeting on Thursday, according to a statement from the bank. It was revealed the changes included an additional funding allocation of $200 million, a limited and tiered guarantee targeting...

‘Businesses struggle to stay open’

Businesses are struggling just to remain open, however, the key to reviving them and getting out of this predicament was the reopening of the borders. This was revealed by Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation CEO Kameli Batiweti during a virtual discussion hosted by the Fiji Law Society on Thursday. He said for borders to open,...

RBF commends Fiji’s national budget

The Reserve Bank of Fiji has commended the 2021-22 National Budget and the expansionary stance given the urgent need for Government to make up for the shortfall in the spending power of households and investment appetite of businesses. RBF governor Ariff Ali said as announced in the budget, the central bank would provide a $200...

Chief raises questions on amendment

Tui Bua Ratu Makutu Nagagavoka has called on Government to hold consultations with landowners regarding proposed amendments to the iTaukei land. He said he was concerned because most pine farms and the Wairiki port in Bua sat on native lease. “We have the Wairiki port here in Bua that exports pine chips overseas and if...

Institute sets up mini mill

The Sugar Research Institute of Fiji (SRIF) has set up a miniature sugar mill to test sugar quality. Senior technical officer Sailasa Balemailautoka said the miniature mill analysed cane samples from SRIF trials. “It provides the necessary information on cane in terms of quality indexes and the sugar content,” he said. “The data from the...

KOICA gives equipment worth $8k to hospital

Investing in health is the best investment one can make in Fiji right now, says Tamavua Twomey Hospital medical superintendent Dr Mike Kama. He made the comment after receiving dermatology equipment worth $8337 from KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) yesterday. Dr Kama said such contributions from bilateral partners towards the improvement of health outcomes were...

MP Gavoka wary of Bill

The amendment to the iTaukei Land Trust Act or Bill No.17 will result in leased iTaukei land being mortgaged to the hilt by banks, and banks controlling the land. This was the stern warning by Social Democratic Liberal Party leader Viliame Gavoka during the debate on the Bill in Parliament yesterday. He said he had...

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