Letters to the Editor – March 25, 2020

Police at the Natalau checkpoint in Lautoka. PM Voreqe Bainimarama has warned Fijians intending to disregard border protection measures that they would be dealt with according to the seriousness of the offence. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Eliminate COVID-19 risks

WHO says that lockdowns are not enough (FT24/3). In an interview with BBC, its executive director Dr Mike Ryan said “what we really need to focus on is finding those who are sick, those who have the virus, and isolate them, find their contacts and isolate them.” Right now our concentration should be targeted at suppressing the transmission. He has also indicated that a cure is not likely to be found anytime soon and that it could take at least a year for the vaccine to be available. Therefore, for the time being, our best hope lies in elimination of risk in order to minimise fatalities for there is no other option. Containment is one of the most effective measures to avoid it from spreading. Medical authorities are doing their best but we need to do our part as well. As our PM keeps saying, we are in this together. We all need to rise and join the fight to defeat the COVID-19. We must avoid unnecessary movements as much as possible. We all could be potential carriers of the virus. If you have come in contact with any of the suspect cases either accidentally or otherwise then please do the right thing and present yourself to the medical authorities for a checkup. Don’t wait for the symptoms to develop. Always remember prevention is better than cure. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Take heed of advice

FIJI is a place where people are free to move or roam around freely. Some time back there was mugging in Suva and people were warned not to walk along these places at night. Now we have a more deadly situation and it’s an unseen intruder. COVID-19 has put fear in all of us and we in Lautoka are now locked up behind borders. We can’t leave and some can’t come back home. I wonder how many of us actually realise what we have lost. If the situation worsens we may not be able to move around within the borders. We will be confined to our homes. My plea to the people is to please heed the advice from the Health Ministry and practise social distancing. I was in town (on Monday 23/3) and people were still sitting in crowds and at the FNPF office a small group of people were all waiting to get in. They were actually squeezed in together. I would like to ask the Government to put out more warnings for people to be careful and heed the advice. Posters can be put up in town for people to see. Italy has been hit badly and they have called in the military to assist in keeping people at home. Do we want that to happen to us? Please people of Lautoka and Fiji we must not take things for granted, practise social distancing. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Lautoka

Divine intervention

I BELIEVE that we need to pray for our leaders, be they in Government, the vanua, church or communities. Fiji’s COVID-19 journey has just started. We need divine intervention to shorten it, endure it, and wisdom to follow instructions from the authorities who are working overtime to keep us safe. We may not have the West’s billions or China’s trillions, but we have each other and our unique talanoa sessions to peacefully resolve differences. Our authorities need to put out notices not only in English, but the vernaculars too. People need to understand the terms that we throw around such as lockdown, isolation, incubation etc. If they did then we will not have people trying to get out of or get into Lautoka. I believe that our Government is in way over its head with this COVID-19 pandemic and they need all the help they can get from the Opposition (FT 21/3), the vanua, church and local communities. Like the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, our authorities need not only to be decisive (FT 22/3), but to be ahead of their game. KORINA WAIBUTA Knollys St, Suva

Press conference

I WOULD like to praise the Government press conference regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. The prime minister, along with the Minister for Health, the Commissioner of Police and Dr Aalisha Sahukhan have brilliantly kept all Fijians updated and cleared the air on the rumours surrounding the global pandemic. However, I was left unimpressed with how unprotected they presented themselves to the media. None had worn face masks or hand gloves and stood less than two metres away from each other. I believe they are the role models of the country and they should’ve shown the citizens of the country how to prevent and protect themselves from the rapidly spreading disease. I hope the officials take heed of this next time. RAYNAV CHAND Nakasi

Transmission line fault

I WOULD be very grateful if Hasmukh Patel or any of the transmission line engineers can tell us what actually happened to their transmission line on Sunday, March 22. Was it a line break? How long did it take to trace the fault? How long did it take to fix the fault? How long did it take your technicians to bring all your generators back on line? Just because it was Sunday and double time day, the technicians could have delayed the rectification, but it is very unlikely. Always be specific when describing the faults Mr Patel. Thank you for replying to customers’ complaints. You are one of the guys who doesn’t hesitate to reply . SUKHA SINGH Labasa

Bored sports lovers

SPORTS lovers are feeling bored because of the lack of sporting activities around the world. Competitions like the Super Rugby, Six Nations and English Premier League (with a huge following) have been called off alongside majority local sports events in Fiji. Australian Rugby League continues to be played behind closed doors, but for how long is anybody’s guess! I guess now is the time to go to YouTube and watch those moments from the good old days. I have so far enjoyed watching Manchester United, Brazil, the Crusaders and Fiji sevens teams’ past victories. These victories brought back some beautiful memories. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

Gang rapists hanged

ON March 20, 2020, India hanged four convicted gang rapists in Tihar jail for the heinous crime of gang raping a medical student on her way back home at night. Her male partner was brutally assaulted while she was being raped by six men at the rear of the bus. This incident (2012) was initially dubbed as Nirbhaya rape case. However, later Joyti Sing’s true identity was revealed in the press. This led to violent protests all over Delhi and other major cities of India. Soon the protests erupted in cities of South East Asia and eventually in London, Canada and the USA. Women’s rights movements started raising the issue of women’s safety in public transport. Joyti Singh was severely brutalised and sustained fatal injuries to her abdomen, genitals and intestines. Attempts to save her life were futile as she succumbed to her injuries. The protesters increased their demand for speedy arrest of the six men involved and their prosecution. The police and judicial system came under heavy criticism as the case dragged on for seven years, three months and three days. However, the closure finally came on March 20 and the parents of Jyoti were relieved that justice had been done. A trust fund has been established in memory of Jyoti to assist all girls and women who become victims of rape, violence and murder. Jyoti’s case has been immortalised in films. She has become the symbol of bravery in the fight for the rights of women. Posthumously she also received an award which recognises her bravery. Is there a lesson for us in this ? DEWAN CHAND Donu Place, Namadi Heights, Suva

Total ban

I APPLAUD the Fijian Government for taking preventive measures to stop the spread of coronavirus. I suggest more drastic measures be taken and one of it should be the total ban on any gathering of more than 10 persons. Parks and public recreation areas should be out of bounds for all. People are not paying heed to the call of unnecessary movements and social distancing. The “bans” would act as a deterrent as it will be punishable by law. The sooner we realise the impact of the virus on people and country, the better. It is not a time for monkey business. ARUN PRASAD Dilkusha, Nausori

Vitamin tablets

THERE are no more vitamin C tablets in any of the Labasa pharmacies. The price of a packet of Tang has gone up to 95 cents . Could the Consumer Council boss do something about this sudden price rise . SUKHA SINGH Labasa

Baby boom

COME December 2020, and early 2021, our hospitals better be prepared for a massive baby boom! This self-isolation strategy will likely turn out to be a breeding season as well. Happy lovemaking and stay strong! SIMON HAZELMAN Rava Estate, Savusavu

Social media

AFTER the unwarranted attacks on Fiji’s first confirmed Covid-19 case, will the online commission take action against those social media commandos? Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Safety measures

I WAS shocked to learn that a flight attendant of Fiji Airways had been confirmed as the first case on the island. According to Fiji Airway’s previous statement, all members on board, both staff and passengers, should have worn face masks and the attendants should have worn gloves. Hinted by the fact that the authorities are tracking down all the passengers on board the two flights, can I assume that the precautionary measures had not been put into serious implementation. BEN YOUNG Suva

Kava supply

WHEN I read Sukha’s letter about his friend, I recall chatting with a friend on Viber to check if he was OK. He said that they were OK but he was running low on kava. Same time I smacked my forehead. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Lautoka

Radio news

SOME announcers of various radio stations nowadays spend hours every day broadcasting about actors and actresses. Some even go to the extent of telling the nation about their families living overseas. Like, o cei via kila! Aren’t there any credible or more worthwhile news to be shared on air? Am definitely sure there are. I’d rather listen to the chirping mynahs than that irrelevant crap. ANTHONY SAHAI Suva


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