From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your May 9 briefing


Bula vinaka

We start off this briefing with a special Happy Mother’s day to all our mums around the country.

We hope you have a memorable day and find some happy moments to treasure.

Here are some of the stories that made headlines in The Sunday Times’ edition for May 9.

Mother of six reunited with family 

The big one on Page 1 is linked to Mother’s day. A mother of six who was stranded in Suva for two weeks was finally reunited with her family members today.

Ivamere Marama after giving birth to her newborn daughter at the CWM Hospital in Suva could not return to her family because of the imposed travel restrictions.

The family is now looking forward to a memorable Mother’s day.

Ms Marama could not contain her emotions at the Sawani border after she was given the green light by police to pass through the checkpoint to meet her family.

Fijians at the Nacilau border in Lautoka this morning, May 8, 2021. Picture: REPEKA NASIKO

Border chaos and frustration

Chaos and frustration appeared to be the order of the day as some people found problems trying to get to their destinations. Read more about this on Page 2.

There are more stories on Pages 3, 4 and 8.

A Ministry of Health official scoping the Raiwaqa area to screen for Covid 19 symptoms while wearing full personal protective equipment. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA


Let’s take some time out to ponder on something.

It was a little after 1pm earlier today. There was a slight drizzle over the Nasinu suburb of Kinoya.

Three men sat at a bus shelter as others stood around them.

They were all dressed in uniforms, with blue plastic covering part of the clothes worn by the others.
The three sat with their heads resting on their hands.

A minibus arrived and appeared to bring in supplies for the contact tracers.
You could see and feel the emotions they packed.

They were tired! Walking around a suburb isn’t a job for the faint hearted.

Some of these men and women have been doing this for many hours. It’s obviously tiring work.
Understandably sceptics will insist this is work they are expected to do.

We are reminded about our roles as individuals though, and why that role, or lack of concern for what must be done, will contribute to these men and women being asked to do their rounds.

Everyday, our men and women of the security forces and health services are expected to go on contact tracing assignments when a new case is discovered.

12 patients recover

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 Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong confirmed there were no new cases to report last night.

He said 12 patients had recovered, leaving 37 active cases remaining in isolation facilities.

Eight are border quarantine cases, 23 local transmissions, and six are under investigation to determine the source of transmission.
In the face of this announcement, contact tracing work continues.

Our frontliners are out on the field in their designated areas. They accept that it can be dangerous work.

Dr Fong said: “My teams are stretched very thin at the moment. But even if they all had every hour of the day available – that is still not enough time to send them into every home and community to make doubly sure our measures are being enforced. We are giving you – the members of the public – the information about how this virus spreads. We are telling you what each of you can do to stop it. That knowledge is our advantage, and God has given each of us the good sense to put that knowledge into practice. Those good choices rest with you.”

We acknowledge the effort of the frontliners on the field. Thank you for the work you do.
But we also should be reminded about the value we must place on doing the right thing as Fijians.

We must be part of the war against the virus. There is no other way.

Lives depend on that! Sharing may be part of our culture and tradition.

However, it is also time for us to be mindful of why the norm must be broken, why we must adhere to social distancing rules.

It makes sense that we should be cutting out hand shakes, and hugs. It makes sense that we should not be sharing a bilo, or taki.

In fact it makes sense that we should not even be congregating with others outside our own bubbles at home.

In saying that, we also take this opportunity to wish all our mothers a very happy Sunday. Happy mother’s day.



We have two pages filled with letters to the editor. Have a feel of what writers are thinking about. There are different opinions on different subjects.



John Kamea’s popular Behind the News column is no-holds barred. Check it out!

Discovering Fiji

In the popular Discovering Fiji section inside, read about the fact that men were not the only ones who defended our borders during World War I and II.


Bollybaat has the latest in the entertainment arena.


Food during lockdown 

Cooking with Chef LANCE SEETO. Whether it be leftover lovo, curry, stir fry or BBQ, Chef Seeto has got recipes to help you use up those leftovers to save money and stretch your food even further during lockdown.



Kunatani takes on COVID fight
The big one in Sports is about Semi Kunatani’s take on the fight against the virus. Check it out.

There’s an insert from Bank of Baroda for their ‘Inoperative accounts’.
We also have Mother’s Day greetings inside. 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!


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 or you can call Setaita on 7754078 to assist you. Try it! It’s a different experience!

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