Fiji

Fiji wrestling with Covid-19 lockdown breaches

More than 500 people including police officers, church ministers and representative rugby players have been arrested for breaching the quarantine, lockdown and curfew restrictions.

Twenty-four people were also detained for holding gatherings of more than 20.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama warned anyone caught breaking the law would be dealt with severely.

"This level of lawlessness is irresponsible, un-Fijian and just plain stupid," he said.

Number of Covid-19 cases jump in Fiji

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said this was the highest recorded number of cases in a day.

Two of the new cases included a 20-year-old woman from Nadi who had returned from New Zealand on 22 March and a 39-year-old woman from Lautoka who is linked to the country's first case.

The other three cases are all linked to the Suva couple who tested positive to the coronavirus on Thursday. The couple's 11-year-old daughter, a 54-year-old man who recently travelled to India and Singapore and another close contact of the family.

123 arrested overnight for breaking curfew in Fiji

New curfew hours of 8pm to 5am were activated last (Friday) night.

Fijian Police Commissioner, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho, said,” The high number of arrests made during the curfew hours from 8pm to 5am this morning is a shocking sign of disobedience in a time where we are needing everyone to listen, obey, comply and restrict movement and gatherings.”

One hundred and twenty-three (123) people were arrested during the nationwide curfew hours.

The future of rugby unions in Pacific uncertain

For unions like Samoa, Fiji and Tonga, commercial viability was already challenging and with USA Rugby filing for bankruptcy along with larger rugby nations facing serious financial worries, Pacific clubs and unions were becoming concerned for their future.

The CEO of Samoa Rugby, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea'i, said he was seeking financial support from World Rugby.

Stranded foreign nationals in Fiji seek help from govt

Fiji closed its border to Europe, China, South Korea and Iran on 8 March due to the Covid-19 threat.

Foreign Affairs Minister Inia Seruiratu said the government received a request from the British High Commission and is working with Fiji Airways to find an alternative route for those stranded.

"It's not only about getting them out of Fiji but to which destination. That is a challenge. It's not that simple. We have to have agreements because other countries have locked down as well."

Inia Seruiratu said a committee had been set up to look into the matter.

Fiji confirms two new Covid-19 cases, Suva will go into lockdown

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama confirmed the two cases at a news conference, bringing the national total to seven.

The couple are hairdressers, and their cases are unrelated to the country's five other cases. The pair and their daughter are being isolated at Navua Hospital.

Tracing teams are now trying to locate people who may have come into contact with the family.

The prime minister confirmed that Suva would go into lockdown from 5am on Friday, in a similar fashion to Lautoka, on Viti Levu's west coast, which has been sealed off for two weeks.

Covid-19: Call for freeze on hire purchase and loan repayments in Fiji

Thousands of Fijians have been sent home or put on reduced pay.

The director of Pacific Destinations, James Sowane, has warned of the social cost to the nation.

He said the worst-case scenario was when mums and dads were at home when the bailiff arrived to repossess their goods.

Then there were those with mortgages, he said, who could lose their homes.

Mr Sowane said when parents could not feed their family or keep their home, they would be forced to make some very difficult decisions.

Six from Tokelau scholarship group stranded in Fiji

They are part of a group of 20 scholarship students and family who were in Fiji to study.

The head of Tokelau's public service said they tried to repatriate them but most were now stranded in Fiji and New Zealand because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Aukusitino Vitale said 14 of the students were currently in quarantine in Auckland.

Mr Vitale said a public servant who was on a training course in Fiji was also now isolated in Wellington.

He said five of those stranded in Fiji belong to one family.

COVID-19: 5th case in Fiji confirmed by PM

Bainimarama says the fifth case is a 31-year-old who was in direct contact with the first patient during zumba classes.

She started developing symptoms while in self-quarantine.

Bainimarama added the average age of our 5 cases is just 27 and anyone at any age can be a carrier.

The Prime Minister also stated that the Nadi Airport will be officially closed from tomorrow. 

He went on to say that it is likely that more cases will be confirmed in the future and everyone should be more vigilant.      

4th case of COVID-19 confirmed in Fiji

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says early this morning, they confirmed the fourth case of COVID-19.

This patient is not related to our first three cases.

He is a 28 year old Fijian man who arrived back into the country on Saturday from Australia.

Bainimarama says when the man left that Fiji Airways flight FJ916 on March 21st, he was not showing any symptoms of COVID-19.

He says he was advised by health officials at the airport to go straight home and self-quarantine for 14 days.

The Prime Minister says it appears the man did everything right.