From the Editor-in-Chief’s Desk: Your May 10 briefing



Here are some stories that made the headlines in The Fiji Times’ edition for Monday, May 10.

Again, the big one on Page 1 is on COVID-19.


Family depend on neighbours

Salome Bose and her family have been living in a makeshift shed in Naqali, Naitasiri since 2020, after their breadwinner lost his job to the COVID-19 lockdown last year. Ms Bose said they depended on neighbours for water and electricity.

Plan in place for lockdown

A detailed plan will be in place should the Government call for another lockdown, says Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong.


Aman Pratap displays MPAiSA QR payment option now available at B Pratap & Sons. Picture: SUPPLIED

People collect assistance 

Supermarkets with M-PAISA machines in Lautoka were flooded with people yesterday lining up to collect their $90 assistance from the Government.

Australian High Commissioner John Feakes receives his COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccination shot at Vodafone Arena in Suva, on Thurs 15 Apr 2021. Picture: IAN CHUTE

Great job Fiji – Feakes

The Government of Fiji is doing an exceptional job working to contain the virus in challenging circumstances, says Australian Ambassador to Fiji John Feakes.



Three new cases

Fiji has another three new cases of COVID-19.

Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary, Dr. James Fong speaking at the national announcement COVID-19 briefing at the Ministry of Health headquarters conference room at Dinem House in Toorak, Suva on Sunday, May 09, 2021. Picture: FIJIAN GOVERNMENT

Ministry task

Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong said the ministry was tasked with upholding the health and well-being of all Fijians from COVID-19 and a range of other threats.

A police officer encourages people to practice social distancing at Tuvu border in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Sigh of relief 

Fijians from the Western Division who were stranded in Suva for the past two weeks breathed a sigh of relief.


Again, let’s take a few minutes to ponder on the reality on the ground right now.

At 65 years old, Lila Wati has experienced a lot in life.

As we face the predicament of COVID-19 cases popping up around us, forcing lockdowns and designated containment areas over recent weeks, she now has to get used to going to bed hungry.

The Lakena, Nausori, resident said her family’s situation was so bad, they depended on a neighbour for food sometimes.

When her son was employed, their cupboards never went empty. However, he lost his job when the lockdown happened.

“Sometimes, our neighbours give us food but sometimes when we have nothing, we just sleep without eating,” she said.

“Everyone is struggling so I cannot rely on neighbours for food every day, so we just quietly go to bed.”

Now, on the other side of the divide, music blared from a house in a part of Nasinu yesterday.

There were screams of joy, and laughter. The party was getting lively mid-morning. It was obvious there were inebriated participants who wanted the world to know they were enjoying themselves.

Whether it was an entertaining party within a bubble, neighbours obviously did not know.
But this is the contrast we see in some parts of the country.

This is the harsh reality of our lives.

While some families are scratching around, struggling to eat, we still have some Fijians who may be engaged in dangerous behaviour.

It is an unfortunate factor that displays contrast in how we perceive and live our lives under the circumstances.

Some of us will engage in what comforts us, disregarding the welfare of others.

We all are under great pressure. No one likes the scenarios around us.

However, surely, we should realise that any bid for some semblance of order will require a united front.

As the permanent secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong said recently, all COVID safe measures should be practised calmly and thoroughly.

“Now assuming that we should be taking precautions doesn’t mean that we panic and do something stupid,” he said.

“So what we are trying to instil is this idea that it is not safe to not be COVID safe, that’s the idea that we want to push.”

This should be the direction we take. This should be how we come together as a nation.

This is what families like Lila Wati’s want us to do.

They are staring at a blankwall right now.

We should be united to fight the virus together, do the right thing, and get back some semblance of order, for ourselves, our loved ones, and for our country.



Check out the letters on Pages 8 and 9 inside.



Tevita determined to promote change

In this popular section, read about: Determined to promote change and contribute towards mitigating the effects of climate change in Fiji, Tevita Dakuiboca participated in Fiji’s first National Youth Climate Action summit in Suva last month. The Lokia Youth Club president said he believed starting awareness at grassroots level could lead to big changes in the near future.



Canteen becomes major supermarket 

When Tara Ben decided to set up a small canteen in the heart of Nausori almost 40 years ago, she had no idea that the business would grow to become a major supermarket in the riverside town.



Dream becoming a reality

The big one is on: FORMER Marist Brothers High School student and Naitasiri rugby union player Vuate Karawalevu is fighting his way closer to playing in the NRL after he was selected to play for the Sydney Roosters in the Jersey Flegg Cup on Saturday.


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


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