News

PM warns of 24-hour curfew

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has warned of a 24-hour countrywide curfew as he condemned the level of lawlessness refl ected in the spike in the number of people arrested for breaches on Friday. On Friday...

French coronavirus death toll hits new high as nursing home tally swells

PARIS (Reuters) – The total number of deaths from the coronavirus in France reached a new high on Saturday as the government included more previously unreported deaths in nursing homes. The health ministry reported 441 new deaths from COVID-19 in the country’s hospitals on Saturday – less than the high of 588 reported on Friday...

COVID-19: Villagers chased by police for catching fish during curfew

Villagers along the Savusavu Coast have expressed their disappointment after they were chased by police officers while catching fish for their families last night. Villagers who preferred anonymity claimed police officers were patrolling the coast in a boat, chasing people despite the directive by the Ministry of Fisheries that people could fish during curfew hours....

Spain to extend state of emergency to April 26 as rise in infections slows

MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday he would ask parliament to extend lockdown measures by 15 days until April 26, as the rate of new coronavirus infections and deaths slowed again in one of the world’s worst-hit countries. In a televised address to the nation, Sanchez said the current lockdown...

COVID-19: No new cases in the last 24-hours

Fiji has recorded no new case of COVID-19 in the last 24-hours. In a statement, Government said it would advise Fijians should this change. “There were no new cases of COVID-19 as at Sunday 5 April,” the statement said.

COVID-19: Jades, Supercuts staff and customers advised to call helpline

Fijians who were at Jades Hair Salon in MHCC and Supercuts at Damodar City Level 2 in Suva on March 23, 25 or 30 and April 1 have been urged to urgently contact the Health Ministry. In a statement issued this afternoon, the ministry stated that they would like to hear from all these customers...

COVID-19: Labasa Hospital outpatient services diverted to Nasea Health Center

All outpatient services at the Labasa Hospital will be diverted to the Nasea Health Center from tomorrow. Confirming this, the Health Ministry said the Labasa Hospital would now be used to isolate all patients confirmed with COVID-19. The ministry has advised the public in the greater Labasa area to refer to Nasea Health Centre for...

China mourns thousands who died in country’s coronavirus epidemic

BEIJING/WUHAN, China (Reuters) – China on Saturday mourned the thousands of “martyrs” who have died in the coronavirus outbreak, flying the national flag at half mast across the country and suspending all forms of entertainment. The day of mourning coincided with the start of the annual Qingming tomb-sweeping festival, when millions of Chinese families pay...

COVID-19: Police officers spend Palm Sunday guarding lockdown areas

Hundreds of policemen and women are spending Palm Sunday guarding borders of the three confined areas in Lautoka, Suva and Labasa presently on lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This morning, Force Chaplain, Superintendent of Police (SP) Reverend Waisale Tikowale visited officers manning the checkpoints at the borders of the Suva lockdown areas, relaying the...

COVID-19: WHO, UNICEF set-up Solidarity Response Fund

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF have announced an agreement to work together on COVID-19 response, through the historic COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund powered by the United Nations Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation. The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has been set up to facilitate an unprecedented global response by supporting the World Health Organization’s (WHO)...

Fiji Airways flies 39,207kilograms of cargo to Sydney

Fiji Airways has flown a freighter flight to Sydney this morning. It is carrying 39,207kilograms of cargo that includes fresh vegetables and 48kg of mail, according to a Fiji Airways post on social media. An airline statement last week stated that on its return flight, the plane will be bringing 11.1tonnes of medical equipment to...

Show typical British resolve, Queen to tell nation amid coronavirus outbreak

LONDON (Reuters) – Queen Elizabeth will call on Britons to show the same resolve as their forebears and take on the challenge and disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak with good-humoured resolve when she makes an extremely rare address to rally the nation on Sunday. In what will only be her fifth special televised message...

Number of coronavirus intensive care patients in Italy drops for first time

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy reported its lowest daily rise in COVID-19 deaths for nearly two weeks on Saturday and said the number of patients in intensive care had fallen for the first time. Officials urged the country not to flout strict lockdown measures they said were starting to show results, although new cases rose by...

Fiji Airways operate charted flight for LDS missionaries

Fiji Airways has flown a charter flight from Nadi to Salt Lake City in the US. The plane was hired by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Missionaries serving in the South Pacific were on the flight to Salt Lake City. These missionaries had flown in from Tonga, Kiribati and Marshal Islands to...

Christians celebrate Palm Sunday at home

Thousands of Christians across the country are celebrating Palm Sunday in their own homes today because of the ban in place on all mass gatherings, including religious activities. Palm Sunday commemorates the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. According to biblical teachings, palm branches are considered symbols of victory and triumph.

COVID-19: Police arrest more than 100 for breaching curfew

MORE than 100 people were arrested for breaching the nationwide curfew hours last night, while another 24 were arrested for breaching the ban on social gatherings. For curfew breaches, the Western Division recorded 49 arrests, 25 in the south, 31 in the east, three in the central and two 2 in the Northern Division, bringing...

COVID-19: Police investigate woman for breaching curfew

Police are investigating a woman who took her family on a fiberglass boat to Wakaya Island during the nationwide curfew on Friday night. “Last night (Friday), in violation of curfew and our rules against inter-island passenger travel, we received another report of a mother who took her family on a fibreglass boat and shipped herself...

Harold moves closer, expect more rain

Fiji will start experiencing more rain from next week as Tropical Cyclone Harold moves closer to the group. According to the Nadi Meteorological Service, the Category 4 cyclone was located 160km west-northwest of Vanuatu, moving southeast at about 8km per hour. On its track, TC Harold is expected to track just to the southwest of...

U.S. prosecutors resist calls to free inmates as coronavirus spreads

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Five inmates at a federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana, have died since March 28 after contracting the coronavirus. Harold Lee’s family fears he could be next. Lee, who was sentenced in 2018 for a bank fraud conviction, has asked a federal court for release on home confinement. The 59-year-old has hypertension and...

Bulgaria extends state of emergency to halt spread of coronavirus

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s parliament approved the extension of a state of emergency by a month on Friday to stop the spread of the coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases rose to 485. The Black Sea state’s parliament voted unanimously on March 13 to declare a state of emergency until April 13. As of...

U.S. warns airlines to quickly refund tickets after canceled flights

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Transportation Department on Friday issued a notice to airlines reminding them they are obligated to refund tickets when they cancel a flight or make a significant flight schedule change that passengers opt not to accept, but will not take any immediate action against airlines. U.S. and foreign airlines have canceled...

With no fries sold, Dutch farmers face billion kilo potato pile

BEEMSTER, Netherlands (Reuters) – It’s potato planting season, but many Dutch farmers are facing a mountain of a problem, with a million tons of potatoes left over from last season due to the coronavirus outbreak. Restaurants in the Netherlands, many serving popular deep fried “patat”, have been closed since mid-March, with a ban on public...

Israel seals off ultra-Orthodox town hit hard by coronavirus

BNEI BRAK, Israel (Reuters) – Israel put up roadblocks on Friday to seal off an ultra-Orthodox Jewish town badly affected by the coronavirus, but ordered in soldiers to support the residents. Emergency regulations approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet late on Thursday declared Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, a “restricted zone” due to its...

China scrambles to plug border gaps as thousands flood home

BEIJING/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Regions along China’s porous borders with southeast Asia are working hard to improve surveillance and curb illegal immigration, authorities said, as thousands flood into a country seen as a safe haven in the global war against the coronavirus pandemic. As the number of confirmed cases across the globe exceeds one million, China...

Millions of women feared at risk of backstreet abortions during pandemic

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Millions of women and girls may be forced to carry unwanted pregnancies or risk unsafe backstreet abortions as the coronavirus lockdowns restrict access to family planning services, charity Marie Stopes International said on Friday. Women are struggling to get contraception and terminations during the pandemic, the organisation warned, saying a...

37 fever clinics in Fiji

THERE are now 37 fever clinics opened throughout Fiji. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has urged members of the public to visit the nearest fever clinic should they develop any symptoms of COVID-19.“ At the fever clinic,Fijians will have their temperatures taken and symptoms checked. “The symptoms of COVID-19 are a dry cough,...

4th April

Option for the jobless

FIJI National Provident Fund (FNPF) members who have been unemployed for the past six months are now eligible to withdraw funds from their accounts. The announcement was made by Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said these workers might have been unemployed for some reasons apart from COVID-19 but they were eligible...

Italy experts say reliable coronavirus antibody test may be ready soon

ROME (Reuters) – A reliable antibody blood test to find out who has already had the coronavirus would give a better picture of the extent of Italy’s epidemic and could possibly be identified within days, scientific advisers to the government said on Friday. More than 115,000 people have tested positive for the virus in Italy...

Workers express frustration over requirements

HOSPITALITY workers living in Korolevu, Sigatoka, are frustrated with the processes they have to follow when applying for COVID-19 Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) assistance. The workers said it was important authorities understood they were not applying for a government grant. Joseva Mei, a hotel employee, said the application process was similar to the requirements...

Two young American doctors spend honeymoon fighting coronavirus

(Reuters) – She’d picked her dress, they’d booked their honeymoon and the wedding was set for the end of March. Then, the coronavirus pandemic hit. So the two young American doctors, Kashif Chaudhry and Naila Shereen, whose whirlwind courtship spun them between New York City and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, cancelled their big plans. Two weeks...

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