Letters to the Editor – Monday, April 06, 2020
6 April, 2020, 9:19 pm
Washing of hands
While villages in Tailevu are erecting roadblocks to their village, Naimalavau Village in Nakelo is allowing visitors which they hardly have nowadays.
But if anyone is thinking of entering Naimalavau, they will have to wash their hands before entering.
A village elder, Sireli Guivalu, said this was more flexible than completely locking the place down.
Even villagers leaving the village to go shopping or for medical checks will have to wash their hands before re-entering the village.
Hopefully this is a way that could help us counter the coronavirus.
Tomasi Boginiso, Liverpool , Sydney, Australia
It’s hard to believe how much has changed in the three months since we entered 2020.
No one had the idea on how our life routines would be interrupted by COVID-19.
Here we are now, many of us under self-isolation.
So if you feel that you are under “house arrest,” trapped in your own home, or if you’re wondering how you can make real progress during this period of waiting, I’d like to suggest three things — we need to spend more quality time with God and family and we need to love our neighbours.
If you have more than enough then share.
Dharmendra Kumar, Rewa St, Suva
Identity of people
I totally agree and endorse the views expressed by Dorsami Naidu of Nadi on the above issue (FT 04/04).
If the names of the British Prime Minister and the Immigration Minister of Australia could be published, so why not the others.
There will be extra precaution to avoid any form of personal contact.
I myself travelled recently and presently in self-quarantine for 14 days, but the day I happen to be one of the unfortunate ones, I will never mind if my name is published.
This will definitely help my close ones.
Looking at the current situation throughout the world, I have already decided to voluntarily extend my self-isolation for the sake of my own safety.
Vijay Maharaj, Navua
There is little doubt in my mind that those who breached the nationwide curfew have made a mistake and need to be charged with disobedience of a lawful order put together to save lives at this time when Fiji is facing the global COVID-19 crisis.
But what we are seeing and hearing in the media is a demonstration of an uneven playing field.
We are being told what those in authority can do and are empowered to do as government officials.
And people are being accused for going about their ordinary lives and commitments and have found themselves caught and charged for reasons they were not aware of.
What we are missing is the voice of the people who are being accused for whatever they have done and for which they have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Some of them have been tested positive of coronavirus and soon having to face police investigation and could soon become duly victims of court penalty.
Let’s hear stories from the accused as some of them may have done the right thing at the wrong time.
The media at this time of crisis needs to give an opportunity to those accused to be heard as well.
The Rev Akuila Yabaki, Colo-i-Suva
I beg of the honourable Prime Minister, please please do not impose a 24-hour curfew on us the majority of law-abiding citizens in our beautiful Fiji just because of a very few irresponsible selfish people who think no further than their noses.
They should be punished in such a way that they will never forget.
This is wartime so I don’t agree with kid gloves treatment like those writers who suggested community service.
No, some form of corporal punishment is warranted.
This may sound harsh but it’s what they deserve for endangering our lives.
The pain will sort them out and be a deterrent to others.
Finally, God bless those heroes in the medical and disciplined forces for going beyond the call of duty all these weeks.
They deserve a medal.
Norman Yee, Martintar, Nadi
I read with interest the opinion titled “Your funds with FNPF are safe” penned by FNPF general manager business transformation (FT 04/04). She has attributed excessive withdrawals by members as one of the main reasons for the low balances in their accounts. Hence, the early withdrawal grounds have been reduced from 23 to 5.
Now under the General Accounts members can only access 30 per cent of their total balance for early withdrawal.
Can the FNPF provide the following information please:
1. Why members were allowed to withdraw up to $5000 after TC Winston even though some of them were not affected by the cyclone?
2. How many of them were allowed to access funds from the Preserved Account due to low balance in the General Account?
Selwa Nandan, Lautoka
Cases double up
In a moment of no time, the number of patients with COVID-19 went up by two.
I was shocked when PM Bainimarama made the announcement during the press conference.
He also reiterated his call of a 24-hour curfew as the number of people caught not following the curfew orders went up.
Ironically, the 12 cases are in some way associated to traveling to and from overseas.
Isa, had we locked our borders earlier we could have avoided this pandemic in our midst.
All I can do now is to plead with my fellow Fijians to heed advice and stay indoors.
We are not taking COVID-19 seriously.
Perhaps we are waiting for a calamity in our beloved nation then we will stay indoors.
COVID-19 is no joke.
Globally, about 1.03 million people have been affected and 54,500 people have died as a result of COVID-19.
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu
Flight to US
I am shocked to have learned that Fiji Airways operated a charter flight for LDS missionaries.
The US is the most hit country in the world and the momentum of growth of the cases is strong and tens of thousands of people are confirmed positive every day.
I believe that flight poses high risk for our people.
Maybe it’s politically correct to have operated the flight taking into account that the US ambassador openly applauded Fiji for its COVID-19 combat scheme.
However, it is posing very high risk to our people.
Ben Young, Suva
To the powers that be, please do not lift the lockdown.
This will mean letting our guard down.
We let our guard down, and smacked we will be on the face.
COVID-19 requires forced isolation and a strict curfew.
Donald Singh, Lautoka
Let’s hope the brains behind the Housing Authority will review the size of blocks they put on the market to include land for backyard farming after coronavirus has shown why it’s important.
Dan Urai, Lautoka
Those who did not follow the directive of entering into government-mandated home quarantine and spreading COVID-19 should be punished with a prison sentence after they fully recover.
Not only have they potentially infected others but caused thousands to be in lockdown.
These individuals should face the consequences of their action.
Wise Muavono, Hedstrom Pl, Balawa, Lautoka
Gone in 20
I believe the advocates for the fight against coronavirus should use the mantra of gone in 20 seconds to win the battle against coronavirus.
Pranil Ram, Votualevu, Nadi
I can’t for the life of me, remember when was the last time I needed to use an alarm clock.
Nigel Fiu, Owls Perch, Lautoka
I applaud the Agriculture Minitser, Dr Mahendra Reddy, for initiating the packages for backyard gardening (FT 02/04).
However, I am requesting Dr Reddy to ensure his officers cut the “red tape” so that the seeds are obtained expeditiously and fairly.
Because of the lockdown, people like me could not make it to their office.
Hope some seeds will still be around after the lockdown period.
On the same note, I am pleading with the minister to check with Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) whether they are selling root crops at exorbitant prices to the market vendors (FT 02/04).
I believe that this is not the right time for any business to ride on the shoulders of the poor and downtrodden.
Arun Prasad, Dilkusha, Nausori