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‘People are dying on the floor’: Healthcare workers tell of Covid devastation in Solomon Islands

Frontline health workers in the Solomon Islands have warned that its health system is on the brink of collapse as the country struggles to deal with a devastating outbreak of Covid-19. A senior doctor and two nurses at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) in the capital of Honiara have told of how there are no beds for Covid patients –...

Four more Samoan Associate Ministers sworn-in

Four Samoan Associate Ministers were sworn-in Tuesday to support the workload of Cabinet ministers. The larger Ministries such and Public Works, Environment and Agriculture now have two Associate Ministers. Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mataafa said the appointments share the workload in assisting the Cabinet Ministers and also give the Associate Ministers experience in the work of Cabinet other than being ordinary...

Communications restored to Tonga a month after volcanic eruption and tsunami

Tonga has been reconnected to the world following repairs to a submarine cable, a month after a volcanic eruption and tsunami cut communications to the remote Pacific island nation. “People on the main island will have access almost immediately,” the Tonga Cable chief executive, James Panuve, told Reuters by telephone after a repair ship handed over the restored cable on...

Fiji and Japan formalise COVID-19 crisis response emergency support loan

The governments of Fiji and Japan exchanged diplomatic notes at a ceremony in Suva Tuesday to formalise Japan’s assistance to Fiji through the “COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan (Phase 2)” worth up to 10 billion JPY (FJD$186 million). The exchange of notes between the Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Kawakami Fumihiro, Ambassador of Japan in Suva...

‘We want one disaster, not two’: Tonga struggles to keep Covid at bay

The Pacific nation, still reeling from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last month, is emerging from lockdown following its first outbreak of the pandemic. By Rhoda Kwan First came a volcanic eruption, blanketing Tonga’s main island in thick layers of ash that contaminated water sources. Then came a tsunami, which destroyed homes, left piles of debris and ripped out vegetation, stripping...

‘We’ll probably see the best of them’: Wright ready for Fijian Drua challenge

The Brumbies are expecting a much different Fijian Drua's outfit to their opening round defeat, believing they will be at their best when they face off at GIO Stadium. The Drua were dominated by the Waratahs 40-10 in their opening Super Rugby Pacific game last Friday. However, Brumbies winger Tom Wright suggests the inclement conditions had a major factor in this,...

Executing set-pieces key for Fijian Drua

Ball retention will be crucial for the Fijian Drua as it prepares for its Super Rugby Pacific round two clash against the Brumbies this weekend. Head Coach, Mick Byrne said this was the team’s main weakness last Friday and it is something they need to improve on before facing an experienced Brumbies side. He said the last 20 minutes of the...

PNG Hunters and Kaiviti Silktails name Melanesian Bowl squads

PNG Hunters will take to the field for a historic pre-season clash when they face Fiji Kava Kaiviti Silktails this Saturday in the PacificAus Sports Melanesian Bowl. Runaway Bay’s Bycroft Oval will celebrate Melanesian and Indigenous culture, with the game to also provide an opportunity for the rugby league community to raise funds and awareness for Tonga Recovery Appeal. PacificAus Sports...

Australia to print, pay for PNG ballot papers

Australia will print, and pay K10 million (US$2.8 million) for the 12 million ballot papers to be used in the 2022 general election, according to Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai. In addition, India will provide, and pay K5 million (US$1.4 million) for the indelible ink used during polling, he said. Sinai told The National that Australia was supporting the Electoral Commission by...

NZ Government announces $140m Omicron support for Māori and Pacific

The New Zealand government has announced $140 million (US$93 million) worth of targeted funding for health providers to support Māori and Pacific communities as they continue to face the impact of the current Omicron outbreak. This is in addition to the Care in the Community boost the Government announced last week to help all families who need to self-isolate as...

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