From the Editor-in-Chief’s desk: Your October 21 briefing


Bula vinaka everyone

It’s that time of the night again when we go through some headlines that made The Fiji Times’ edition for Thursday, October 21.

But before that, remember we are celebrating our 152nd year anniversary and you can win cash this month. There were 10 lucky winners in September. This month of October, we are offering 20 readers the chance to win cash prizes. All you have to do is cut out the masthead of The Fiji Times newspaper, write your name, address and a phone contact on it, and place this in a bin at a participating store near you. It’s that easy. Turn to Page 11 for details.



  • NO school will be shut down if a student or teacher tests positive for COVID-19, says Education Minister Premila Kumar. She said Fijians would have to learn to live with the virus and the ministry was prepared in the event there were new cases. Ms Kumar said students and teachers who tested for the virus would be isolated and classrooms would be decontaminated before classes would be allowed to resume. THERE’S MORE ON PAGE 3.
  • THE Health Ministry says an average of three mental health illness cases per month involving children and adolescents had been recorded at St Giles Hospital in Suva over the past six months. It said the numbers may not reflect the true burden as most individuals did not go to St Giles given the stigma associated with visiting the mental health facility.


  • GOVERNMENT has to date received around $250 million in cash budget support grants from Australia, New Zealand, the European Union and other development partners. This, compared with a budget projection of just $29 million, according to the Ministry of Economy’s Economic and Fiscal Update on the 2021-2022 budget.


  • TEACHERS have been told to prepare themselves because there will be behavioural changes in children because of their mental health being severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Premila Kumar highlighted this issue while visiting schools in some parts of Nausori yesterday.
  • A TREE that fell on top of a vehicle at Holland St, Suva, yesterday resulted in three people being rushed to the hospital. Mere Tinai, 31, a resident in the area said she was tending to her two young children when she heard a loud crashing sound outside of their home. She did not make much of it until she heard cries for help and ran outside to see a tree had fallen on top of a car, trapping five people inside.



Check out interesting letters on these pages. The leader is on COVID-19, and why we should be vigilant even if we have had two jabs.



The musical journey continues. Read about: JONETANI Raivotu is well known in the bus industry as a sign-writer. From the mid ’70s to date, his works of art have emblazoned the sides of the many buses that zig zag across the Capital City. “If you come to Wailea, Vatuwaqa, or ask anybody in the bus business – they all know me as Jone Signwriter,” the 72-year-old chuckled. But wind the clock back 50 years and Raivotu was a force to be reckoned with as he pounded away on his bass guitar at the mecca for live music in Fiji – the Golden Dragon night club in Suva. He rubbed shoulders with Fiji’s musical elite and painted the walls of the Victoria Pde night spot with his funky bass lines, woven in between the tight grooves of the country’s premier drummer at the time – the legendary Paul Stephen.



The big one on the back page is about rugby union. THE Fiji Rugby Union is expected to name the new Fiji 7s head coach to replace Gareth Baber by the end of next month. Baber, who guided Fiji to gold medal victory at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, has parted ways with Fiji Rugby to further his career in 15s rugby. He has taken up the position of skills and assistant attack coach of professional Scottish club Edinburgh. Fijiana 7s coach Saiasi Fuli and Fijian 7s captain and double Olympic Games gold medallist Jerry Tuwai, have been tasked to mentor the Fijian 7s program until a replacement is named.

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