From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your June 15 briefing

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Bula vinaka everyone

The permanent secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong has just announced 89 new cases of COVID-19.

89 new cases

Ministry of Health and Medical Services Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong during the COVID-19 update virtual press conference on Monday, June 14, 2021. Picture: SCREENGRAB

This comes in the wake of the staggering 105 announced on Sunday night.

Here are some key takeaways from tonight’s announcement:

  • Most of the cases are contacts of cases from known clusters;
  • Dr Fong says the sheer number of daily cases is, of course, a matter of concern;
  • Dr Fong is confident that case numbers will rise in the near-term and that record of daily cases will be broken again. But, he insists, that does not mean we are helpless, it does not mean we cannot protect ourselves;
  • There is more testing done now. This same time last year the ministry was running under 120 tests a day. Now, it can run over 3000 tests every 24 hours. Relative to our population, Fiji is testing more than any other country in Oceania; and
  • The number of severe cases is very low. Very few people have needed hospital care. Dr Fong says there may be a number of reasons for that. He believes the fact that almost half the adults in Fiji have received at least one dose of the vaccine could be one reason. Another is possibly the relative youth of our population. The third major factor inside these numbers is that most of these cases are occurring within known clusters, and often among people who are already isolated.
  • 23 patients have recovered.
  • 860 active cases now in isolation.

Here are some stories that made the headlines in The Fiji Times’ edition for Tuesday, June 15.

PAGE 1

Coral Coast protest

As villagers along the Coral Coast protested the opening of a quarantine facility in “Covid-free” Sigatoka, a tourism property owner has reassured the proposed containment area will pose no risk to locals. Blue West Villas owner Craig Delamare said they had taken all the necessary precautions in offering their facility to the Health Ministry as an isolation and quarantine facility beginning today.

PAGE 2

Vaccination taskforce

THE Ministry of Health and Medical Services COVID-19 vaccination taskforce has enlisted the help of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs to raise awareness on the importance of the vaccine among the iTaukei community.

Whole-of-society approach 

ELIMINATING the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) requires a whole-of-society approach underpinned by a multi-stakeholder partnership, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

PAGE 3

Objection to usage of hotel facility

MAUI Bay (PTE) Ltd is objecting to the usage of a hotel facility in Sigatoka as a COVID-19 isolation facility. Company representative Julian Hennings told this newspaper there was no public consultation over the usage of Blue West Villas as a quarantine facility.

PEOPLE

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In this popular section of the newspaper, you can read about: AKOSITA Tukana owes the success she enjoys to her mother. “She is my biggest motivator,” Ms Tukana said. “My mum used to work extra hours at the hotel she used to be employed as a babysitter just to earn a bit more so that my school fees could be paid while I was in high school.

BUSINESS-InsideBUSINESS

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This is a regular section of the Tuesday edition. Read about: THE government has allowed businesses that put forward clear COVID-safe operational plans to open their doors.
#A TOTAL of 149 hairdressers’ and barbers’ applications have been approved with 503 people re-employed. This was according to the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport statement on its online social platform, as 58 applicants in the Central and 91 in the Western Division have been approved to operate.

SPORTS

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The big one on the back page is about: IT is crunch time for players in the 18-member Fiji 7s squad preparing for the PacificAus Sports Oceania Sevens in Townsville, Australia. The players have a tall order to fill if they want to be selected in the final 13-member squad for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan next month.

There’s more to read inside, but you’ll have to get a copy to know what we are talking about!

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