Local News

Bus company joins forces to promote fire safety

The National Fire Authority is spreading fire safety messages in Tavua, thanks to a partnership with Nadan Buses Ltd. The NFA thanked the bus company for supporting the promotion of fire safety measures during the...

Firm adopts a positive attitude

Rising above COVID-19 challenges, Labasa’s ‘In Fashion’ company has employed people to work in its newly refurbished building. Shop manager Apul Kumar has attributed the successful initiative to adopting a positive attitude that has seen them through. “We discussed this for a few months knowing that we still faced challenges and people losing their jobs,...

Singh celebrates birthday in style, gives back to community

Former Nawaka resident Pyara Singh celebrated his 75th birthday in style by providing funds for much-needed grocery packs to the vulnerable residing in the community, who are greatly affected by COVID-19. Mr Singh, who was the director and chief executive officer for the – then Nadi Handicraft Centre in the Jetset Town provided finance of...

COVID-19 pandemic takes toll on fish seller

Amelia Ravai, a fish vendor at the Laqere market, Nasinu, says selling fresh fish is no longer viable given the cost of keeping fish compared with how much it can be sold for. “Before the second wave of COVID-19, business was going so well, but over the past few weeks business has really gone down,”...

Stranded cane farmer turns to selling vegetables

After he was stranded in Lautoka when the second wave of COVID-19 hit, a Labasa cane grower took to selling vegetables along the streets of the Sugar City to survive. Pritil Sharma pushes a vegetableladen wheelbarrow around in an effort to earn some money for his family. “I came to Lautoka to visit my parents...

$5k grant for technology rollout

Lifeline Fiji received a grant of $5000 from the Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation under its Sustainable Funding Program. Vodafone ATH executive officer Ambalika Devi said the grant would help the organisation support its crisis interventions and counsellors who assisted them. “It’s not all about the dollars as today’s (yesterday) grant signing is only a small...

Police and NFA investigate two fire incidents in Taveuni

The Fiji Police Force are doing joint investigations with the National Fire Authority following two fire reports in Taveuni last night. According to police, a report was received that a shop located in Naqara was on fire whereby Police and NFA officials attended to the scene. Another report was received that the Macuata Muslim League...

Temporary morgue video

People are more focused on undermining ministry’s efforts – Dr Fong Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong says it is unfortunate that given the scale of the COVID-19 epidemic in Fiji, people are more focused on undermining the ministry’s efforts. He said this in response to a video that surfaced on social media recently,...

Nokonoko leaves early to get a good spot

Like many Naitasiri villagers, Mereoni Nokonoko left Delailasakau at 3.30am, crossed the Waidina River and rushed to the Sawani containment border in a bid to get a good spot to sell her produce. But when she reached the border at 6am, she was surprised to find people already trading. “We had no choice, we had...

Ragasau says she is grateful for living a village life

Melaia Ragasau says if there is one thing she is grateful for, it is this – that she and her family live in Mokani Village, Bau, Tailevu. She said compared with those who live in urban areas, people who lived in the village had nothing much to worry about. “In the village, we can borrow...

Farmer notices decline in sales

Moape Navuasese leaves his Nabukaluka, Naitasiri, home at around 4am everyday, in a bid to reach the Sawani containment border at 5am. “I try to get there early, so I can be the first one to sell my produce at the border,” the 45-year-old grandfather said. “The fare from my home to the border is...

Call for authorities to provide tables

Naitasiri traders at the Sawani containment border are calling on authorities to provide tables, so they can hygienically sell their goods. Sachin Prasad of Nakadi settlement, Qiolevu, said that he had been selling vegetables at the border for two months and the environment was not very conducive for customers. “All the farmers are facing difficulties...

Dutt recalls COVID-19 ‘nightmare’

A COVID-19 positive patient recovering at the FEMAT facility at Laucala Bay, Suva, is urging Fijians not to take the virus lightly. Ashween Dutt Sharma of Sakoca, Tamavua, said he tested positive on Saturday, July 17 and was transferred to the FEMAT facility from Valelevu Health Centre the same day. Speaking from the Laucala Bay...

‘Do not rely on what politicians say’

Do not rely on what politicians say, they always say things to further political mileage, says Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau. He made the comment in response to questions from this newspaper about his Facebook post in relation to the iTaukei Land Trust (Budget Amendment) Act 2021. In the post, Mr Koroilavesau said “Some of our...

Party regrets decision

Nawaikula’s expertise will be greatly missed, says Gavoka Social Democratic Liberal Party Members of Parliament have lost one of their most vocal indigenous rights advocates leading up to the debate of an important Bill in Parliament next week. This, according to party leader, Viliame Gavoka, who said the move to vacate SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula...

COVID-19 patients can get vaccinated

Dr Fong advises to wait for 90 days People who have tested positive for COVID-19 can get vaccinated, but it is advisable they wait 90 days, says Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong. “They can, but if they wait 90 days the immunisation response is better,” he said. Dr Fong said it was advisable...

Waqainabete prioritises aged care facilities

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says the ministry is working to vaccinate residents in aged care facilities around the country. He said it was unfortunate that 20 COVID-19 cases were recorded at the Golden Age Home in Samabula, Suva. Dr Waqainabete said a majority of the residents have received their first jab. “We’ve actually been...

Ministry refers alleged breach to RFMF

Permanent secretary for the Ministry of Health Dr James Fong has referred allegations of soldiers breaching COVID-19 quarantine protocols at a quarantine facility in Nadi to the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander Viliame Naupoto. Dr Fong said he forwarded a screenshot of the post to Commander Naupoto. “COVID indiscipline is a major issue in...

Food worry

Some people who were under 14 days home quarantine in informal settlements within Lami could end up getting sick because of hunger rather than COVID-19, says Lami District Council of Social Services president Asaeli Naisoro. He said thanks to the generous donation from residents in Lami they managed to deliver 30 food bags to families...

COVID-19: Mild symptomatic patients will no longer be tested

For people with COVID-19 symptoms in Suva-Nausori corridor will no longer be tested for COVID-19 and should stay at home and strictly self-isolate for 14 days. According to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services most people infected with COVID-19 will have only mild symptoms like cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, loss of taste...

COVID-19: Drop in number of cases to be viewed with caution

The recent drop in new cases in the last two days should be viewed with caution as daily numbers have increased and decreased in the past and will continue to vary. This is the message by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services as the 7-day average of new cases per day is 863 cases...

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. And our thoughts and prayers are with everyone, especially families who have had their loved ones and friends battling this virus in their homes, and...

24th July

From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your July 25 briefing

Bula vinaka The excitement is building up as the Olympic Games gets underway in Tokyo, Japan. There is a lot of attention focused on the 7s rugby competition no doubt. UPDATE ### Tonight the permanent secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong announced 684 new cases of COVID-19 for the 24 hour period...

COVID-19: 684 new cases, five more deaths reported

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has reported 684 new cases of COVID-19 for the 24-hour-period that ended at 8am today. A full breakdown of areas of interest will be published online tonight on the Ministry’s COVID-19 dashboard and on the Fijian Government Facebook page. You will also be able to view the approximate...

Bank injects funds to improve growth

The $70 million investment by the BRED Bank (Fiji) through the BRED Group will accelerate the development of its international network in the country and boost its growth in all market segments, including corporate and institutional financing. In a statement the bank stated that the BRED group was carrying out capital increases of nearly $US36.5...

$70m investment a sign of confidence, says A-G

Minister for Economy and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says BRED Bank had injected $70 million capital into their Fijian bank from Paris. While speaking virtually during a ground breaking ceremony in Nadi, the Minister for Economy explained the significant impact on Fiji’s economy. “The vaccination numbers are increasing significantly every day and so far we’ve had...

Understanding the special death benefit

Every year on July 1, an amount of Special Death Benefit (SDB) premium declared by the Fiji National Provident Fund board is deducted from all active FNPF member accounts that meet the eligibility criteria. This is the annual premium for the special death benefit (SDB) cover – which is a benefit paid to the nominated...

$54.6m allocation for Communications Ministry

The Ministry of Communications has been provided an increased funding of $54.6 million in the 2021-2022 National Budget announced last week. According to the Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, this included $15.5m to Walesi, which included $4.5m for the FM project, providing robust and reliable communication services nationwide. “Walesi has changed the game for mobile...

Chiefs want ‘Fiji Islanders’ as common name

Below is the editorial comment that appeared in The Fiji Times of Monday, March 9, 1970 on the debate of Fiji’s common name prior to independence. The Council of Chiefs has been quite adamant that the common name for the people of Fiji should not be Fijians, as was suggested unofficially last year (curiously,  considering the association’s name and limitations on membership) by...

Project to give 200 jobs

Close to 200 Fijians will be employed during the development of Asco Motors’ $15 million car dealership premises at the new Legalega Industrial Subdivision in Nadi. Asco Motors outgoing CEO Craig Sims explained the construction phase of the project would result in the employment of more than 100 construction workers. “As you can imagine, there...

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