Local News

19th May

Price gouging

The Consumer Council of Fiji registered 27 complaints on increase in prices of items from April 19 to May 13. In response to questions on increase in prices the council chief executive officer Seema Shandil...

18th May

COVID-19: Lockdown for Suva-Nausori to be lifted; nationwide curfew remains

The 24-hour curfew for Suva and Nausori will be lifted at its close scheduled at 4am tomorrow allowing for limited movement in a highly-controlled fashion. Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong confirmed this tonight and attributed it to the contact tracing that now has high-risk known contacts under quarantine. Suva...

COVID-19: Fiji records 4 new cases; Nadali area cordoned off

Fiji has reported four new cases of COVID-19, and all cases are close contacts of existing cases from the Nadali cluster. These cases were confirmed after running more than 2500 lab tests yesterday. Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong said because of a steadily rising number of cases, they were...

Vegetable supply affected – vendor

Aruna Devi, who makes a living selling vegetables at the Namaka market, says the supply of vegetables to the market has been affected because of the lockdown. “Business is very bad as not many people are coming to the market these days and we are no longer getting a variety of vegetables from the suppliers...

Carpenters without work

Carpenters around the country are sitting at home because hardware shops are closed, says Nadi carpenter Sumit Kumar. He said when hardware shops closed in containment areas, whatever work carpenters had, suddenly vanished. “Before the hardware stores closed, we were able to find work at least two to three days a week but now, almost...

Court fines Exotic Fiji Ltd employees for breaching COVID-19 health restrictions

“You are putting the public’s life in danger when you operate as a non-essential business,” Suva Magistrate Shageeth Somaratne said as he imposed heavy fines on a manager and an employee of Exotic Fiji Limited. The duo Kevin Kumar and Josua Dolo pleaded guilty to breaching restrictions and were ordered to pay $3000 within three months’ time. Magistrate Somaratne ordered...

Tough going for restaurant owner

Amol Kumar established the Tasty Pot Restaurant in February this year after business in Nadi began to show signs of revival. A few weeks later, the second wave of COVID-19 hit and sales plummeted. Mr Kumar, who runs the restaurant with his mother, Anuradha Tandon, said even the takeaway service was not working. He said...

COVID-19: Food ration distribution continued today

Food ration distribution continued today. And according to the Government, families who are in need continued to access the emergency food supply that were being distributed by the Ministry of Economy and the Fiji Police team. A Government statement posted on its social media Facebook page stated teams were deployed to informal areas to assist...

Bread sales soar in last-minute rush

Gusuisavu Bakery ramped up production last Friday after authorities announced the Suva-Nausori lockdown. Mariana Siliva, the bakery boss, said they remained open until 8pm to cater for the upsurge in demand. “Most of the villagers from Naitasiri and Namosi always stop by our bakery to buy bread, butter and other groceries like chicken, sausage and...

Money service users face issues

Lami residents claimed last Friday they had issues with Vodafone’s M-PAiSA service. They said when they tried to withdraw funds from their M-PAiSA accounts, staff members at the Shop n Save Supermarket, an M-Paisa agent in Lami, said they would not pay out withdrawals but would accept payments for groceries by scanning the QR code....

Chief on food ration distribution

Opposition Leader and Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu is calling on the Government to activate the DISMAC (Disaster Management Committee) machinery and civil society organisation (CSO) networks, including religious bodies and NGOs, to distribute food rations and assist the needy during the Suva-Nasinu-Nausori curfew. “As our nation continues to face unprecedented challenges due to the...

COVID-19: No confirmed cases detected in the Northern Division

Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services has confirmed there are no COVID-19 cases detected in the Northern Division, and the containment zones established in response to this case are no longer in force. This after it flagged a potential case of COVID-19 in the Northern Division yesterday after an individual residing in Labasa initially...

Ex-PM calls for national approach

Former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has called for a national approach to the health challenges brought about by the deadly COVID-19 virus. He said this was not the time to play the blame game but work together as the grave concern was the devastating impact of COVID-19. “It is not the time now to be...

COVID-19: Police record 59 arrests overnight; gathering and loitering top arrests

Fijian Police recorded 59 arrests for breach of curfew orders and public health restrictions in the last 24 hours. And the majority of those arrests were of those found loitering and those gathering for grog sessions. Also among the arrests was a non-essential business operating in the Makoi area. Fiji’s Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate...

Man in custody for alleged assault

A 20-year-old man who allegedly featured in a social media video assaulting another man is in police custody. This, according to police spokeswoman Savaira Tabua. She said the alleged incident happened in Navua. “Police confirmed that a report has been lodged at the Navua Police Station and they are looking into the matter,” she said....

Brothers blame brigade for losses

A $50,000 two-storey house at Nailuva Rd in Suva was gutted by fire and the incident was reported in The Fiji Times on January 10 1981. The six-bedroom house was reduced to an empty shell with everything inside burnt to rubbles. The families living in the building had blamed the Suva Fire Brigade for the...

Copra-producing district receives township status

Savusavu was declared a town in September 1976 and this announcement was covered by The Fiji Times in a report on September 6, 1976. The declaration was the first after 10 years, with the last town announcement being Sigatoka in 1959. The proclamation had been made by then Governor Sir Robert Foster, acting on the...

Council aware of rise in price-controlled items

Some businesses are skirting the law to benefit by increasing the prices of regulated and price-controlled items, says the Consumer Council of Fiji. In a statement, the council said they were aware of the increase in prices and had also received tip-offs from consumers. The council stated it conducted survey spot-checks based on the information...

FCCC conducts 1000-plus inspections in past month

The Fiji Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) conducted more than 1000 inspections in the country’s three major divisions. According to the Commission, it conducted a total of 1170 inspections covering the Central, Western and Northern divisions since April. The Commission stated that 102 inspections of the total 1170 were completed on Friday, May 14 –...

Businesses welcome decision

Businesses in the Suva-Nausori corridor have welcomed the Ministry of Health’s decision to implement a total lockdown and restrict movement in the Suva-Nausori zone. Suva Retailers Association president Jetesh Patel said the lockdown would make the Ministry of Health’s work easier in flushing out the coronavirus. He said the public should also follow health advice....

Saukuru assists Fijians stuck in the Sugar City

Lautoka market master Charlie Saukuru said he had been assisting 11 people from Yasawa who had been stuck in the Sugar City for the past three weeks. He said the men were staying at a relative’s place in Kashmir. Mr Saukuru said the reason he stepped in to assist was that the relative who was...

Huge loss for vendors

Market vendors who traded at the Sawani containment border claimed they made huge losses last Friday. Kalesi Wati said they were forced to sell produce for as low as $1, so they could earn something and shop before the Suva-Nausori lockdown was enforced. “I came at four in the morning, so I could earn something...

Woman allegedly attacked by her husband hospitalised

A 54-year-old woman was transferred to the CWM hospital in Suva from Nadi following injuries she sustained over the weekend, allegedly at the hands of her husband. Police spokesperson Savaira Tabua said the victim was working in a restaurant last Saturday when she was allegedly attacked by her 58-year-old spouse following a heated argument. Ms...

MOH braces for surge

Health authorities are preparing for rising numbers of new COVID-19 cases as the Fiji Centre for Disease Control comes back online, says Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong. He made the comment after announcing four new cases on Sunday. Dr Fong said they all stemmed from a cluster in Nadali, Nausori, and were believed...

Struggle to make a living

Before the second wave of COVID-19 hit Fiji, Angila Prasad used to sell between 60 and 70 slices of pineapples and watermelons a day. When authorities enforced strict containment measures, she was forced to stop. For the past three weeks, the Namaka market vendor said she had been struggling to make a living. “Vendors like...

Provide rations in bulk – villager

Government should provide food in bulk if they don’t want people to move around during the COVID-19 lockdown. This was the view of Lokia, Nausori, villager Tevita Cuvatoka. “People get desperate when they don’t have food for their family so they start to move around looking for something to feed them,” he said. The 57-year-old...

COVID-19: Police will not hesitate to arrest those who breach restrictions – ACP Tudravu

Fiji Police Acting Commissioner Rusiate Tudravu has reiterated his statement saying they would not hesitate to bring people into their custody if they continue to disregard restrictions put in place by the Ministry of Health. “If we all play our part, we can fight this battle together and kill the virus,” ACP Tudravu said. “As...

Food pack seller notes decline in business

Last Friday Veniana Vakarau was sitting outside a supermarket in Nausori trying to sell food packs prepared by her family. She said she knew the effort it took to put the packs together and she also knew her family was depending on whatever she would earn. Ms Vakarau was hopeful people queuing up outside to...

Residents line up for food rations

A large crowd from Mama’s Place in Caubati, Nasinu, lined up yesterday for Government food rations, and in the queue was 80-year-old Champa Kali. She said the assistance was timely because her family was struggling. “My son is the only breadwinner in the family,” Ms Kali shared. “He has not worked for the past three...

3 families evicted

Three families of Sakoca Settlement, Suva who were handed High Court eviction notices are calling on authorities to help them. Bimla Wati, a 63-year-old widow said she was having sleepless nights thinking about where to go in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have been staying here for past 35 years,” she said. “TLTB...

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