Letters to the Editor – March 23, 2020

A letter writer is questioning the Ministry of Health in their refusal to publish its coronavirus advisories in The Fiji Times. Picture: RAMA

Advisory discrimination

WE are in a state of war with the lethal coronavirus. The crisis is total. The Prime Minister rightly says we are all in this together. Yet the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MOHMS) persists in refusing to publish its corona advisories in The Fiji Times. Why is this? What is the justification? This apparent advertising ban means this newspaper’s readers — a sizeable section of the population — are denied access to lifesaving advice and information about the dreadful disease. In my view this is discriminatory. It strikes against the unity and the spirit the nation needs to get through this supremely testing moment in history. To repeat what the Prime Minister said: We are all in this together. All of us. MATT WILSON Votualevu, Nadi

Flight cancellation

FIJI Airways made the announcement that they will suspend all international flights from Sunday, March 22, but do you give such short notice when you operate an international airline. I was reading The Fiji Times of Saturday (21/03) where I saw the photo of people gathered near the office of Fiji Airways who were really worried how to get out of the country. I don’t know how many of them managed to get a seat. Does Fiji Airways know how many Fijians are overseas and are on tourist visa and want to return? My nephew is in Sydney and was booked to return at the end of the month, but now he is trying to come back but can’t get a seat. What will happen to him and his family when Fiji Airways is sending 737 Aircraft instead of A330. I know Qantas and Virgin also announced that they will suspend all international flights, but they gave until March 31. Can you see the difference between them. A sensible airline does not give just two days notice, but well in advance to keep their reputation. It’s a matter of only nine days and I would request Fiji Airways to reconsider their decision and help our people. NARDEO MISHRA Suva

Stop panic mode

IT would be reassuring for citizens if medical authorities gave out the number of people who died in the past three months and cause of death. What type of medication or treatment given to the mother and son patients that are reportedly in stable condition. Dr Khan has reported on TV that 95 per cent of coronavirus victims survive. The media should place more emphasis on those that survived instead of reporting only on the number of deaths to balance their reporting. DAN URAI Lautoka

Time to unite

THE COVID-19 pandemic has seriously reminded each one of us the need to remain vigilant and work as a team to fight and arrest this virus which is now slowly creeping to almost all countries. It is quite shocking to read and hear that the US and China, the two most powerful economies, are slating each other’s throat on who is responsible. No leader, whether it is the US or China or European and Asian countries, where this virus is spreading like fire is calling for an urgent meeting to come together, unite and find an antidote or cure. The virus is further dividing each country and everyone is confined to their comfort zone and waiting for a solution. Is this how we will find a solution with four months now gone since the virus erupted? Come on leaders, it’s time for action, not sitting in positions and awaiting for a cure. Talanoa and veilomani needs to starts now and who knows when great minds think alike a solution will come and stop the biggest challenge of this time. Be ready start or the end is inevitable. Who will blow the loudest Trump(et) SHALWYN PRASAD Mukta Ben Place, Nabua

Safety tips

THERE has been calls for people to take heed of safety tips to combat the coronavirus. Let me put them all together. We need to practise social distancing. We need to stay two metres away from each other. Wash our hands for 20 seconds. If you have a cough wear a mask. If you cough into your elbow, don’t greet each other by touching elbow. And there has been a call to fast and pray. In short — practise good hygiene and pray. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Lautoka

EFL monopoly, power outages

EFL’s monopoly and power outages — planned or unplanned at best of times — are very annoying, inconvenient and grossly tests our patience, tolerance, understanding and blood pressure, needlessly. I am frustrated beyond words. Something must be done about EFL’s monopoly. Please resurrect Nabou Green Energy for most of west Viti Levu to ease the load for the benefit of Capital City, Suva; Sugar City, Lautoka and the rest of Fiji. Pity, we do not have a choice as retiree plus numerous other consumers. Reference is made to outage occurring approximately 1550 hours Sunday, March 22. At this time of writing, outage has already exceeded an hour. RONNIE CHANG Martintar Nadi

Love they neighbour

THERE is no better time to ‘love they neighbour’ than now. As people return from overseas or for other reasons must self-isolate, neighbours can be a great resource. Many of us keep our distance from our neighbours as we may feel they want their privacy or that we are not interested in investing time in knowing them. I’ve always felt that it is good to have cordial relations with neighbours, especially in cases of emergency but at all other times, as well. It brings joy to my day to be able to share a few words with my neighbours, and this extends to other tenants if you live in an apartment. If we know that our neighbour is in self-isolation, they may need essentials and are unable to get them. Why not offer to help? At the least, check on them daily to see if they are OK. Who knows, you may well be the one self-isolating and need something as simple as a loaf of bread or your dog taken for a walk. When you are someone who might have difficulty coping in self-isolation, a simple “Bula, how are you?” could really make the difference to your day; for a neighbour to ask if there’s something they can do for you, that would be a bonus. Perhaps if anything positive at all comes out of this pandemic it is improved neighbourly relations and friendships that have been forged. Amazing things can stem from adversity; friendship and neighbourly love are just two. JULIE SUTHERLAND Bhimji St, Tamavua

Tokyo Olympics

WHY is it taking Japan so much time to call off this year’s Olympic Games? With the adversities surrounding COVID-19, it is in everyone’s best interest that the Olympic Games gets called off! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

Day three

DAY three of lockdown. I can literally see the grass growing. NIGEL FIU Owls Perch, Lautoka


I DROVE past a church today and they were having a service. Isa, such blatant disobedience. KORINA WAIBUTA Knollys St, Suva

Free masks

CAN the FijiFirst Government hand out free masks and hand sanitisers to the people of Lautoka please. The people are in need, so where are our government ministers? JOHN BROWN Drasa Vitongo, Lautoka


IN these times it is important to get the right news from the right sources. Social media and the kind are spreading lies and misinformation, feeding on people’s fears and insecurities. People will try to take advantage as it is human nature and history tells us enough. Get informed from reliable and reputable sources. Information is key, not lies and misinformation. AVIN NARAYAN Gold Coast, Australia

Unsung hero

I WAS thinking that an unsung hero was going to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. Food security. Until end of the equation, toilet paper rolled out. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Leased aircraft

WITH international routes slashed by 95 per cent, Fiji Airways please return the two A350 XWB back to its owner. ILAITIA BOSE Suva

No jam

THREE days of lockdown and I was on the streets. One thing I noticed at 7am there was no traffic jam. So, a solution came to mind — everybody work from home. Haha, joking. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Lautoka

Vitamin C

I LIKE to thank our Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum for telling us on the Aina program to eat a lot of vitamin C. I bought 10 tablets. The tablets have the same taste as orange flavoured Tang juice. I am just wondering if the vitamin C tablets and orange Tang powder are the same things. SUKHA SINGH Labasa


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