Letters to the Editor: September 30, 2020

Netani Tavo of Tabadamu on attack against Police White in the cup fi nal of the 44th Fiji Bitter Marist 7s tournament at the ANZ Stadium in Suva last Saturday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Back on top
After winning the Marist 7s for four consecutive years (2015-18) and losing the title to Police Blue last year, Tabadamu delivered when it mattered the most and beat a starstudded Police outfit 22-21. The CK Ezy Buy Tabadamu side dedicated the 44th Fiji Bitter Marist 7s to their former manager Leo Naikasau Sr who died during this year’s Nawaka 7s. Thanks to Masi’s hat-trick and one try from Soro, Tabadamu stamped its mark as the dust settled despite a late surge from Police White. The Police Blue and Police White sides and Jerry Tuwai’s Barbarian Brothers were favourites to clinch the title but Tabadamu led by veterans Naikasau, Vota and Daniele played their hearts out and denied Police White, laced with big names like Railoa, Matai, Nacuqu, Ikanikoda, Volivoli, former Tabadamu playmaker Terio, Keponi, Nasove, Cakaubalavu and Viriviri, a taste of the Fiji Bitter Marist 7s cup title. I was impressed with the performance of veteran Pio and youngsters Jiuta, Rasaku, Sadrugu, Qaranivalu and Kitione Salawa. Congratulations Tabadamu and a big vinaka vakalevu to the organisers and match officials!

Public transport
People in the greater Nadarivatu areas are still waiting for the resumption of bus services for more than two years now. Excuses which were given then by the bus company included poor road conditions. Now with perfect road conditions, what else does the bus company need? I hope whoever is responsible will assist us with this ongoing issue. It’s been long overdue.

Travel bubble
I was talking to my cousin in Sydney and he told me that he heard over the radio news the Prime Minister of Australia saying that his government was considering opening the border to countries which are safe of COVID-19. The countries he mentioned were Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Pacific countries including ours. There will be no 14 days quarantine for them but normal tests will be carried out before boarding the aircraft and on arrival. If our country wants to be part of that too then I believe we have to make a public announcement that we are opening our border for safe countries of COVID- 19 without 14 days quarantine including Australia and New Zealand.

Ba soccer
Ba soccer coach Ronil Kumar is trying to build on a well-polished and sharpened strike force for the IDC. According to the player turned coach, Ba is often let down because of weaknesses in their strike force. It’s a fair call but I think all departments are not functioning in the manner they should be. Ba’s downfall is also in poor passing and the fighting spirit is also not there. Possession is also quickly lost because players don’t have that confidence in them. I think you are also not putting the right players in their right positions. Your backline players falter a lot thus the keeper is easily beaten in most cases. Also because of inaccurate passing, the players run and tire out fairly quickly. The Ba team is not able to exchange any more than two passes at a time which wasn’t the case when Ba was in prominence. Let’s hope the coach is able to do some miraculous job which could give Ba the IDC trophy this time. I always love to see the men in black playing because it is Ba where I learnt playing soccer. Thank you.

Listening tour
Two political party leaders embarked on a “listening tour” to hear directly from the people the issues and challenges they are facing during this COVID-19 period. (F/T: 29/9) The COVID-19 had been in Fiji since March. It is rather strange that it took these two leaders six long months to undertake this “listening tour”.
BHARAT MORRIS Gold Coast, Australia

False sense of security
Since COVID-19 has been around, and we have had thermometer devices available, I have been tested on different areas of my body; even my dog sitting next to me in the car has had his temperature taken. My concern is my state of health. Recently my temperature was recorded by a thermometer gun as 34.2 degrees Celsius. That temperature was taken off my left thumb. I asked the gun wielding administrator to take another reading on my forehead. It was then aimed at point blank range at my head. I felt my days were numbered. Before she “fired”, I asked if she could make some space between my head and the gun before she took another reading. That bought me some time. It fired and that time my temperature recorded 36.6 degrees Celsius. I immediately felt much better as I knew through first aid training that any- thing under 35 degrees Celsius, the victim is suffering hypothermia and at risk of dying. I see a few issues over the use of the thermometer gun, might there be some who use it don’t understand human temperature ranges and what they mean? Do they know the proper use, that is, where to apply the gun and are they able to question if the gun is faulty and is not giving an accurate reading? Are those who use it on the public trained in the use of the gun or in some cases, is it security personnel and bar or cleaning staff who use it without any knowledge or training? Might it be that if there is an error in the reading, that someone who is in fact positive for the virus, may go undetected? This is a frightening thought.

Local gateways
Promotion is a crucial factor to get the attention of visitors and motivate them towards a hotel. This factor will work when the hoteliers fix the price of local specials after considering the economic recession impact on locals. Their local special will strengthen the national tourism sector, but this viable option will be sustainable if their offers are highly economical. It is better to make profits on numbers rather than profit based on booking at a high price. Feedback from the masses and visitors is a significant factor that needs to be analysed to make future workable promotional deals. The bookings of post COVID era are going on with highly discounted international tourism sector with cashback clause if not made it did not materialise. Locals can help to develop a self-strengthening tourism sector for Fiji.

Repatriation flight
I note on social media an advert for a BNE/NAN/BNE repatriation flight for Australian and Fijian citizens on October 23. No further information is given. Now this flight could be deemed acceptable as Queensland is virtually COVID free, and Fiji is totally clear except for quarantine cases. However, those wishing to disembark in Fiji must have been resident in Queensland for more than three months, and certainly not be opportunists who have wriggled into Australia somehow recently from places like India, which has a massive out of control COVID rate. No doubt people view me as a prophet of doom regarding COVID but I believe most people in Fiji are unaware of the dangers of quarantine breaches occurring overseas. In the main the current Victorian COVID outbreak, leading to numerous positive cases and 17 deaths can be traced to lax procedures at quarantine hotels. Iceland, with a population 40 per cent lower than Fiji, is experiencing a 30 fold increase in positive cases due to two French tourists breaching quarantine protocols. The Fiji Times does a great job reminding people to adopt COVID avoidance procedures, but I feel all media outlets need to expose the realities of COVID overseas. In reality it is spreading out of control in many countries, most of whom relaxed restrictions when they thought they had it beaten. Fijians responded brilliantly to the challenge of beating it once, we cannot be exposed to it again.

A worthy cause
My heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the Lautoka Golf Club executives for their contribution to WOWS Kids Fiji over the weekend! Just like our letters to the editor guru Allen Lockington, another writer Raymond Singh walks the talk and has been actively involved in activities that help the needy and the poor. Hence, Raymond and his executives made the weekend’s golf tournament unique by raising funds for WOWS Kids but also set an event to help children with cancer be part of their social activities. Children with cancer who visited the golf club were treated with rides on golf carts, given gift packs, and their parents were each given envelopes containing cash to buy their household necessities. A big vinaka vakalevu to Raymond Singh and the executives of Lautoka Golf Club for their initiative and generosity!

THE revelation in the FT (29/9) article titled “The risk is real” sends shivers down the spine. Thanks to the authorities for being proactive that we did not have to bear the full brunt of the coronavirus that is being experienced by some other countries.
PRANIL RAM Votualevu, Nadi

THE “Decorate Fiji for 50” competition $10,000 prize money for a single winner could have been split among 10 best participants of 1000 each or within the best three (first, second and third). To the organisers, split up that prizemoney for God’s sake. If 200 people participated and my boy Anthony Sahai won the 10K, kaseti ga o noqu boy qori. Sobo!
WISE MUAVONO Balawa, Lautoka

The brain
I JUST found out that the brain constitutes only two per cent of your body weight and consumes 20 per cent of the energy one burns. I am just wondering if it is the same for everybody?

That tour
THIS week two politicians are on a listening tour. Keep your fingers crossed. More will come in 2022 from various parties or as independents. Some for the first time. Others after four years. But do not hold your breath for leaders from all political parties to tour together.

USP saga
AS a USP Alumni like Rajend Naidu (FT 28/09), it really pains me to see what is happening at our prestigious regional university. Just a moment ago, we all saw light at the end of the tunnel but now it has flicked out. Please do something quickly. Yes, the Pacific way. Talanoa!
JOELI NALECA Natabua, Lautoka

ONE can be underwhelmed, one can be overwhelmed yet one can’t just be welmed.
NIGEL FIU Owls Perch, Lautoka

Nadro rugby
THANKS for your compliments to Nadroga rugby Rajnesh I Lingam. To my knowledge of past Nadro players, to win back the Skipper Cup — a must to go and train at the sandhills before their next game. To be honest from previous games, the way I judged the team, they were unfit and did not last the 80 minutes, especially to tougher teams Suva and Namosi. Hopefull to see Nadro retain their fitness when it comes to the crunch time. Hakwa Nadro.

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