From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your May 7 briefing

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Bula vinaka

COVID-19 continues to grip the headlines and minds of Fijians.

Here are some stories that made the headlines in The Fiji Times’ edition for Friday, May 7.

PAGE 1

Virus upends Priya Devi’s life

The big one on Page 1 is about how the virus upended Priya Devi’s life and thrust her into grief in a manner she least expected. It tears at the heart and gives us a glimpse of the harsh reality of the impact it has on family members of victims.

Lautoka family shares home

Then there is the story about how a Lautoka family opened its doors to a family from Sigatoka forced to remain in the Sugar City because of the containment restrictions. Sigatoka resident Sereana Chand has been separated from her daughters, aged eight and six, for more than a month because she had to accompany a son who was admitted after surgery at the Lautoka Hospital.

REFLECTIONS

Before we continue, perhaps we should ponder on the announcement by the Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong’s announcement of four new cases.

But let’s consider the fact that police arrested 53 people between Tuesday night and yesterday for breaches of health restrictions and curfew orders. This has to be a major concern.

Police officers on patrol in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Dr Fong continues to plead with us to do the right thing every night during his press briefings.

He continues to talk about the danger of congregating with others. He talks about why we must adhere to social distancing rules. He makes it a point to advise us to stay home and do the little things that matter for the greater good of the nation.

It seems some of us just don’t care. It seems some of us are oblivious to the need by the greater population for things to go back to some semblance of normality.

Let’s remember thousands of people are unemployed. They are struggling to put food on the table. They are struggling to provide for their family. They are frustrated. Many are angry over the turn of events. Many are staring at a blank wall. They are helpless.

Sereana Koroi of Nawejikuma settlement in Nawaka selling cooked food and pies at the Nadi market. Picture: NAVNESH REDDY

Many more people are struggling with reduced hours, and many are struggling with pay cuts.

Yet as we hope for unity in this war against the virus, there are still some people who are prepared to breach rules. They are happy to be out partying and congregating with others.

Understandably these are tough times for everybody, but please, let’s take heed of good advice from our medical experts.

PAGE 2

School exams

PRIMARY and secondary school examinations for the 2021 academic year will be held in October and November, says the Education Ministry.

National budget consultations

Stakeholders from the private and public sectors at the Lautoka budget consultations. Picture: REPEKA NASIKO/FT FILE

THERE is no need for the 2021-2022 national budget consultations and announcement to be pushed back, says Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry.

School financial reports

THE Education Ministry has warned that schools whose annual financial reports have not been endorsed at an annual general meeting will not receive Term 2 grants.

PAGE 3

New cases

Four new cases

Press conference briefs

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Check out the letters to the editor on Pages 8 and 9.

PEOPLE

This popular section continues to attract attention daily.

Meet Gina Maino

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Read about Gina Maino’s experience of being a widow in a foreign land in the midst of COVID-19 closed borders. It was like facing a wall with no hope of tomorrow. Born and raised in Savusavu, Gina married her Papua New Guinean husband Doctor Terry Maino in 2017 and has two children. In June last year he died after a short illness and her world crumbled as she longed for the presence of her loved ones and families home in Fiji.

THE SHOPPER

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Check out special deals and much more inside.

SPORTS

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The big one on the back page is about former National Rugby League star Jarryd Hayne has been sentenced to prison for rape. There is more to read inside.

GET A COPY

There’s a lot to read inside. You’ll have to get a copy though to know what we are talking about. Happy reading!

e-EDITION

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If you prefer to read your newspaper via the e-Edition platform, you can do so via mPaisa. It’s easy to hook up. You can contact us for details on https://www.fijitimes.com/subscribe/ or you can call Setaita on 7754078 to assist you. Try it! It’s a different experience!

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