From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your May 8 briefing



As the numbers continue to go up in terms of new cases, we must stay focused.

Here are some stories that made the headlines in The Fiji Times’ edition for Saturday, May 8.

The big one on Page 1 is obviously going to be on COVID-19.


Nurses on lockdown

NURSES who are locked down inside the Lautoka Hospital are having sleepless nights, worried about the welfare of family members at home. Many did not have time to pass on bank cards to family members when the lockdown was enforced. Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong said there were strategies in place to ensure the families of health workers were taken care of.

Lautoka hospital on lockdown. Picture: FT FILE

Fijian household worries

FOR hundreds of households in Fiji, COVID-19 comes with worries about how to put food on the table. This is the situation Eleni Siri also faces – but she is determined not to lose control of her senses.

There’s more on Pages 2, 3, 4 and 5.


Anaseini Korotaiti and her husband stare at a blank wall daily. They have had to make major adjustments to their lives.

Life isn’t a bed of roses. In fact it wasn’t before, and it seems to have just been made worse by the recent turn of events.

The Waila, Nausori family is borrowing money to survive and working on their landlord’s farm in lieu of paying rent. Ms Korotaiti, 26, said they were looking at ways and means to survive after her husband lost his job as a contractor due to the COVID-19 containment.

Meeting their three children’s basic needs motivates them to live life daily.

It keeps them going in the face of the major challenges they face.

“Sometimes, my husband and I stay up the whole night thinking about what we will feed our children the next day as we have no income or relatives to depend on,” she said.

This is the harsh reality of what life is like for some Fijians.

Obviously, the containment areas and necessary lockdowns have forced many families onto the brink of disaster.

Police monitor traffic at the border beteween the Suva Zone and Lami Zone Containment area. Picture: JONA KONATACI

We will have to keep reminding ourselves that thousands of people have lost their jobs. Thousands more are working on reduced hours and many are on massive pay cuts.

This is the situation we are faced with.

People are suffering.

This is why we must listen to the advice of our health experts.

It’s not only for ourselves. It’s also for the many Fijians greatly impacted by the turn of events.

They need a return to some semblance of order quickly.

Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong continues to plead with us to adhere to social distancing. He has been urging us every day during his press briefings, to wear a mask, and stay home.

Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary, Dr. James Fong speaks to the media on the latest cases of COVID-19 during a press conference at the Ministry of Health headquarters conference room at Dinem House in Toorak, Suva on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Picture: JONA KONATACI

The virus will not move if we do not move!

In saying that though, we unfortunately have some Fijians who are prepared to beat the system. They will insist on congregating for social events. They will insist on trying to work around the nightly curfew.

The fact that we have local transmissions and possible community transmissions does place pressure on us all to be vigilant.

Fijians like Ms Koroitaiti and her young family will look to us all to do the right thing.

So let’s be responsible. Let’s unite in this war against the virus. It’s for ourselves, our loved ones, and for Fiji.



There are seven pages of letters to the editor. Get a feel of the pulse of the nation… check out what the major issues are around the country.


Saturday’s edition brims with features and opinions, a popular part of the weekend paper. We have a range of top writers touching on varied topics of interest for weekend reading.

Do you have the courage of your convictions

By Arvind Mani

Last week, more than 2100 Utah Republicans booed Senator Mitt Romney at the party’s state convention for his votes to impeach former president Donald Trump.

Coping with lockdowns

By Ajay Bhai Amrit

Bula readers! After a positive response to last week’s article on Coping With Lockdowns I thought to close this chapter with five more handy tips, to help you cope with this new lifestyle change.

Bizarre sense of priorities



First, let’s bust the popular myth that the Prime Minister’s office block will cost $7m. A more realistic assessment of the cost for this highly controversial, luxury set of suites will likely be $50 million.

Kidney stones

By Farzana Murthy

Kidney stone, which is also called renal calculus, is a firm, crystalline mineral material formed within the kidneys urinary tract and it becomes so huge that it impairs usual renal functions.

Cybersecurity paradigms

FILE PHOTO: A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/File Photo

By Ilaitia B Tuisawau

All computers are hackable. This includes your smart phones and any other device with a microchip in it. This has as much to do with market forces as it does with the technology.

Information is a public good

By Dr Shailendra Singh

THIS year’s WPFD had a powerful theme that is relevant for the Pacific – information is a public good. That access to information is a public right is not something that everyone fully understands in our region.

Fiji Times anniversary


In 1969, a 77-year-old retired rancher attempted to revive a vanilla industry which had been dead in Fiji for more than 100 years. It was Mr W.J.Erich of Deuba. If successful his vanilla would have found a big market among Californian ice-cream manufacturers.

Love our dogs

Handlers with their dogs prepare for the K9 Dog training pass-out parade in Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FT FILE

By Julie Sutherland

It’s 3am and I lay awake. I feel the warmth from a body on one side and the same on the other. I know who is who. The one breathing heavily is Gus, the pug and the other with a smooth silky coat and no excess of skin or hair is Pik, aka Big boy.

Australian PM has ‘blood on his hands’

By Dr Sushil K Sharma

AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister has “blood on his hands”, said former Australian Test cricketer Michael Slater, after Scott Morrison threatened to jail Australian citizens like him trying to flee the ravages of India to the safety of their own homeland.



Check out the motoring and entertainment sections inside.



The big one on the back page is about a Fijian named to start for the Crusaders against the Chiefs today. Check it out.


#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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