Local News

29th March

Narube: This is not the time to raid FNPF

THIS is not the time for people to raid their retirement fund, says economist Savenaca Narube. Mr Narube made the comments in response to the COVID-19 Response Budget delivered in Parliament on Thursday. The former...

28th March

Rabuka on suspension of orders

GOVERNMENT should not seek to make Parliament a rubber stamp by defeating the rules of Parliament, says Leader of Opposition Sitiveni Rabuka. Referring to the Standing Orders that were suspended to allow for a three-hour debate on the COVID-19 response budget, he said the process was a “sham” and a disservice to the nation. He...

Needy families assisted

ONE hundred households in a few informal settlements in Lautoka were recently assisted with food packs and protective hygiene packs. An executive of the Lautoka Ratepayers and Residents Association handed over the packs to the families on Tuesday. Association interim president Allen Lockington said the assistance was for those who needed it most. “We first...

$10m a month

THE Health Ministry will be spending $10 million a month from the $40m allocated to the ministry in the COVID-19 Response Budget. This, according to Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete. “I am very grateful that in this budget that we have, it’s $40 million for four months, $10m a month,” he said while speaking in...

No shortage of stock, pharmacy confirms

SUPERDRUG Pharmacy has a stock of pharmaceutical supplies that can last up to three months, says the consultant of the Superdrug Group, Abhay Nand. Responding to queries from this newspaper, he said three tonnes of stock was expected to be flown in by freight this weekend. “There is no shortage of stock, as a matter...

People fill up petrol yesterday as the new patrol price comes into effect from Monday. Picture: RAMA

FCCC announces reduction in fuel and increase in LPG prices

THE Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced new prices for fuel and gas which will come into effect from Wednesday April 1, 2020. Motor Spirit customers will pay 10 cents less per litre and the price comes down from $2.16 per litre to $2.06 per litre. There will be a 14 cents decrease in...

No inter island passenger shipping in Fiji from tomorrow

From 12am Sunday, 29 March 2020 there will be no passenger carriage or movement on inter island ships throughout Fiji till further notice. This has been confirmed by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and in line with the Prime Minister’s...

RFMF and health officials to monitor quarantine passengers

Members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) together with the Ministry of Health Officials will be deployed around the Nakasi-Lami corridor. According to the RFMF this is to ensure that passengers who had arrived in the country this week on-board several Fiji Airways flights were properly quarantined at their homes. RFMF stated the...

Elderly woman to be questioned after isolation period

A woman in her 60s was processed and will be taken in for questioning after undergoing the 14 day mandatory isolation period for an alleged case of disobedience of lawful order. According to Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho, the suspect who resides in Sukanaivalu Road in Nabua allegedly left her residence where she was ordered to...

Uni Fiji Vice Chancellor Professor Sushila Chang terminated

UNIVERSITY of Fiji Vice Chancellor Professor Sushila Chang has been terminated. Chairperson of the University of Fiji Council Kamlesh Arya issued a statement yesterday, on behalf of the Council, saying he has written to Prof Chang regarding the cancellation of her work permit by the Department of Immigration on March 24 and the impact of...

Earth hour a reminder that our natural systems are vital, says speaker

SPEAKER of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says celebrating Earth Hour this evening is an opportunity for all Fijians to show a united resolve to addressing climate change issues. In his message published in today’s The Fiji Times, Ratu Epeli said Earth Hour 2020 was a reminder that our natural systems are vital for all our...

Man arrested for disobeying a lawful order

Police have arrested a man who walked across from Lautoka into Ba and then travelled to Rakiraki. Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro has told the Fiji Times the suspect trekked on foot through the forest and followed a logging track. “He descended at Namosau, Ba,” she said. From Ba, the 23 year old travelled by bus...

COVID-19 cases remain at five in Fiji

THE number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country remains at five. In a statement released this morning, the Health Ministry says there have been no new cases since Wednesday March 25. The ministry says 32 fever clinics have been established across the country as of yesterday. The clinics are operational from 8am to 4pm...

Seven missing men located and are safe

All seven people reported to be missing at sea have been located. Police confirmed the seven men left for Gau yesterday afternoon and had been reported missing but have been located and are sheltering at Lovu Village, Gau. According to Police the confirmation was received from the Turaga ni Koro Mosese Tadulala who confirmed they...

Two men arrested in Sigatoka murder case

Two men have been arrested in connection to the alleged murder in Sigatoka on Monday. The 19 and 28 year old are from Sabeto. 70 year old Lekh Ram Chandra died at his Cuvu Top, Sigatoka home during a robbery. It’s believed he was struck on the head with an object. The two were arrested...

Police search for seven people missing at sea

Police are searching for seven people who left for Gau yesterday afternoon but failed to arrive as scheduled. According to Police information was received from a relative residing in Cunningham that the seven had departed from the Bailey Bridge in a fiberglass boat at 4pm and were scheduled to arrive at 8pm. A Police boat...

MP charged, to be produced in court on Monday

Opposition whip Lynda Tabuya has been charged by Police with one count of Malicious Act Contrary to Section 15 (a) of the Public Order Act 1965. According to Police she will be produced at the Suva Magistrates Court on Monday. Meanwhile, Dr Isireli Biumaitotoya has been released while Nemani Bainivalu remains in custody as investigations...

Nationwide curfew enforced

GOVERNMENT has enforced a nationwide curfew from 10pm to 5am beginning Monday. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said he had been continuously warned Government was not afraid to ramp up its containment measures against the COVID-19 pandemic if it felt the Fijian public was not taking the crisis seriously. More in today’s edition of The Fiji...

Public Health Act 1935 amended

GOVERNMENT has amended the Public Health Act 1935 to allow for the imposition of $10,000 fine and five year jail terms for a number of offences against COVID-19 control and containment efforts. Those who could be fined up to $10,000 or jailed for a term not exceeding five years or both include people who: –...

3 in court for COVID-19 related offences

A 53-YEAR-OLD dispatchment officer accused of spreading false information on social media in relation to the COVID-19 situation in Fiji has been told not to interfere with prosecution witnesses by the Suva Magistrates Court. Magistrate Deepika Prakash issued the instruction to Marica Vakauta Bole while granting her bail yesterday. Ms Bole was one of three...

Rapist father cops 21 years

A FATHER who raped his daughter from when she was six years old to when she turned 16 years old was jailed for 21 years by the High Court in Lautoka. During court proceedings, it was revealed the offences occurred until 2016 when she was 16 years old. In a court judgment delivered on February...

27th March

‘Economic fallout worst than cyclones’

THE economic fallout from COVID-19 will be far worse than cyclones Winston, Josie, Keni, Gita and Toni combined. This was the word from Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while presenting the COVID-19 response budget appropriation Bill in Parliament last night. “This is a crisis of lives and livelihoods alike,” he said. “No government,...

25,000 without jobs, says A-G

MORE than 25,000 Fijians are without jobs because of the tourism sector shutting down. The statement was made by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during a heated debate in Parliament about the manner in which Standing Orders were suspended. He said people had lost jobs because planes had stopped flying into Fiji. “These people need to access...

Banks offer loan repayment breaks

TWO major banks in Fiji have offered a loan repayment holiday package for their customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They are HFC Bank and Bank South Pacific Fiji. HFC Bank is offering a loan repayment holiday for its customers, however, these customers will be first assessed and depending on their circumstances will then be...

COVID-19 Budget: Stimulus package

GOVERNMENT last night announced a $1 billion COVID-19 stimulus budget in partnership with the Fiji National Provident Fund and other financial sector partners. Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum outlined details of the package while delivering the COVID-19 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said in the wake of COVID-19, the Asian Development Bank...

Vice Chancellor’s contract “is deemed to have been cancelled.”

The University of Fiji has announced the contract of its Vice Chancellor “is deemed to have been cancelled.” This is after Sushila Chang contravened the lock-down restrictions in place and crossed from Lautoka to Nadi and flew off to Australia on Saturday last week. The Chairperson of the University of Fiji Council, Kamlesh Arya said...

COVID-19 Response Budget passed

GOVERNMENT and various agencies can now roll out relief packages to assist Fijians and businesses affected by COVID-19. This after the passing of the $1 billion COVID-19 Response Budget in Parliament this afternoon. The budget was passed following a unanimous vote by Government. Meanwhile, all eight consequential bills were also passed.      

Tokyo-Narita flight re-scheduled

FIJI Airways has rescheduled its recovery flights to and from Tokyo-Narita announce yesterday, to operate in early April. The national carrier said this reschedule would allow more citizens and residents both in Fiji and Japan to make the flight and return home. “The airline is aware of a large number of Japanese citizens currently within...

Opposition told to “cut the nonsense”

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has called on the Opposition to “cut the nonsense” and get the COVID-19 Response Budget passed. Speaking in response to the supplementary budget delivered by Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Mr Bainimarama said lives of Fijians were on the line and the budget needed to be passed by Parliament. “I’ve had to...

COVID-19: Officials enlighten people on physical distancing

Health officials from the Lautoka City Council visited various supermarkets in the Sugar City today to enlighten employees and shoppers on the importance of practicing physical distancing as part of their COVID-19 awareness. Senior health inspector Shalen Singh and his team visited about six supermarkets and made announcements using the hailer to get the message...

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