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iTaukei ‘top deaths’ – Dr Wilson: 20 indigenous Fijians have died from delta variant

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More than 70 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in Fiji have been recorded for iTaukei persons. This was highlighted by Fiji Institute of Pacific Health Research Director Dr Donald Wilson during a webinar on Monday. He said recent statistics showed that 20 indigenous Fijians had died from the delta variant. Dr Wilson said it was sad to see there was an increasing...

Tonga renews State of Emergency for a month, three COVID-19 tests now required in quarantine

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Tonga’s declaration of a State of Emergency due to COVID-19 has been renewed from 05 July to 02 August. The Declaration of a State of Emergency was first declared by the Prime Minister, Rev Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa on 12 March, 2020 under the Emergency Management Act, and has been regularly renewed since. The declaration applies to all the land and sea...

Kiribati food summit dialogue outlines proposals for access to nutritious food and food security

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The Government of Kiribati with strong support from the United Nations has completed a series of dialogues to explore how the Kiribati Food Systems should evolve during the next ten years so that they reflect the needs of people, protect the ecosystem and environment, while aligning with the principles and goals of sustainable development and climate action. The food system...

Bougainville sets 2027 deadline for independence from Papua New Guinea

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Bougainville's leaders set a deadline of 2027 to gain full independence from Papua New Guinea Tuesday during talks on the future of the once-wartorn Melanesian island. A resounding 97.7 percent of Bougainvilleans voted to secede from Papua New Guinea and become the world's youngest nation in a 2019 referendum. The poll capped a 2001 peace agreement that followed a decade-long war...

Samoan Head of State’s proclamation wrong, expert says

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A legal expert has added his voice to those who say Samoa's Courts have the final say on constitutional issues, not the Head of State or the Government. Samoa's FAST party holds 26 seats, to the HRPP's 21 seats. But there are more electoral petitions to come. Earlier this week, the Head of State issued a proclamation claiming the Supreme Court...

Possible criminal charges against FAST leaders investigated

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A Commission has been set up in Samoa to investigate possible criminal charges against FAST Party leaders and its legal advisers. The Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil said that the Commission has been assembled and include the Assistant Police Commissioner, two police attorneys and the Attorney General to investigate any potential criminality following a letter from the caretaker government requesting...

Australia denies using ‘plants’ to undermine China’s Covid vaccine rollout in Pacific

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The Australian government has denied undermining China’s plan to roll out Covid vaccines to Pacific countries after Beijing lashed Canberra’s purported “callous” and “irresponsible behaviour”. The allegation, first aired in Chinese state-controlled media and then amplified by the foreign ministry in Beijing, was “absolutely not” true, the Australian government said on Tuesday. The spat is the latest flashpoint in the deteriorating...

‘I’m always afraid’: Fiji reels as it moves from Covid haven to frontline

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For most of the pandemic, when Fijians tuned in each night to updates from the country’s health experts, they were greeted with the same message: the nation had reported zero, or one or two cases that day. While most countries around the world grappled with surging Covid cases and overwhelmed health systems, Fiji – a country of about 900,000 people...

Fiji records 636 new cases of COVID-19; six deaths reported

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Fiji has recorded 636 new cases of COVID-19 and six deaths related to COVID-19 Tuesday. Permanent secretary for Health Dr James Fong said the first COVID-19 death is a 74-year-old woman from Delainavesi, Lami. “She presented to the FEMAT field hospital in respiratory distress and died on the same day. She was not vaccinated. “The second COVID-19 death is a 74-year-old woman...

Micronesia to lose access to Pacific-led resilience fund if it leaves PIF

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Communities in Palau could lose financing access to the homegrown Pacific Islands Pacific Resilience Facility (PRF) if Micronesia leaves the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). One of the issues Pacific leaders will discuss in the upcoming Forum Economic Ministers Meeting slated next week is the main launch of funding support for October 2021. The aim of the PRF is to ensure that...

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