Covid-19: XBB.1.5 variant detected in Fiji

Due to this, the Health Ministry states it is ready to review some public health border measures.

The sub-variant, also known as Kraken, was descended from the Omicron XBB subvariant, itself a cross between two earlier strains: BA.2.75 and BA.2.10.1.

It comes just a day after New Zealand revealed the variant had also been detected in the country late last week.

The World Health Organization said it has been detected in at least 31 other countries.

Medical superintendent Jemesa Tudravu told FBC news the variant had high transmissibility.

Fijians encouraged to remain vigilant during cyclone season

The met service issued the statement in light of the formation of the season’s first tropical cyclone, TC Hale over the weekend.

According to the Nadi Weather Office, TC Hale posed no direct threat to the Fiji group as it tracked southeastward away from the country yesterday afternoon.

However, the weather office says a low-pressure system is anticipated to affect the country this weekend, with showers expected throughout the week.

2 deaths, 19 new Covid cases in Fiji

The Ministry of Health says the first Covid-19 death is a 64-year- old man from Suva.

He was presented at a health centre on 23 December with pre-existing medical conditions and later tested positive for Covid-19.

FijiVillage reports the Ministry also says he later passed away on the same day.

He was vaccinated with 2 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Ministry says the second death reported was of a 34-year-old female Tuvaluan citizen living in Fiji since 2018.

She was admitted at the CWM Hospital in Suva with diabetes complications on 6 December.

Fiji’s new PM addresses nation

Rabuka, who has assumed the role of head of government for the second time in his political career delivered his inaugural statement to the people of Fiji via the state's social media.

Fijian voters voted out Frank Bainimarama's FijiFirst government's stronghold on the nation's governance after two terms in power, signalling their appetite for change.

Rabuka's message to his fellow citizens was one promising a better and united Fiji for all.

"Our country is experiencing a great and joyful awakening," he said.

Fijis New for Home Affairs and Immigration Pio Tikoduadua asks Police Commissioner to resign

Pio Tikoduadua says the commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho has however asked that they follow the process of the Constitutional Offices Commission.

Minister Tikoduadua said he respects his decision, and we will let the law take its course.

The Minister added he has no issue with the Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

A border alert has been issued by Fiji's Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) for Opposition MP and former Attorney General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Samoa Prime Minister congratulates Fiji’s newly elected PM Rabuka

In a congratulatory letter, Fiame said Rabuka’s election as leader of the multi-party coalition demonstrates the confidence and trust of the people in his deep-rooted leadership.

Fiame adds she looks forward to working closely with Rabuka to further enhance and strengthen the friendship, cooperation and partnership between the two countries as well as advancing regionalism in our Blue Pacific continent through the 2050 Strategy.

Rabuka was elected Prime Minister following a secret ballot in Parliament last Saturday.

Samoa police investigate stow-away case

Deputy Police Commissioner Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti told Tala Fou that Police are trying to determine how the woman allegedly got past the normal departure processes including immigration, customs and security clearance.

The woman is suspected to have hidden in the plane’s toilet during the flight.

According to Papalii, the suspect managed to hide on the plane and was only discovered when the Fiji Airways aircraft touched down in Fiji.

The suspect was then apprehended and returned to Samoa on the same flight.

Fiji tourism smashes 2022 targets

One of the hallmarks of Fiji's tourism industry is the world-class hospitality of the Fijian people.

Thanks to this kind of dedication from Fijian hospitality staff like Asenaca Nitayaqa - who you will meet properly a little later - the industry is on track to smash all its expectations for a recovery in 2022.

Fiji Tourism chief executive Brent Hill said at the start of the year they had set a goal to try and achieve visitor numbers of around 400,000.

They are now on track to almost doubling that number.

Sitiveni Rabuka is Fiji's new prime minister

Rabuka was elected with 28 votes to 27.

"It was a very close margin," Social Democratic Liberal Party (Sodelpa) youth forum president Ben Daveta said.

From the polls to parliament, every decision was balanced on a knife's edge.

First, no party gained an outright majority to rule.

Then it took the king-makers Sodelpa two split-votes to choose a coalition partner -- and even in the final secret ballot to elect a prime minister, someone in the opposition ranks voted for the other side.

It has been a frantic time, Daveta said.

New chapter for Fiji - Rabuka to lead coalition

There were jubilant scenes in Suva overnight as the kingmaker in Fiji's general election, the Social Democratic Liberal Party (Sodelpa) declared it was partnering with the People's Alliance (PA) and the National Federation Party (NFP) to form a new coalition government to end FijiFirst's eight-year reign.

The decision was made in a secret ballot by Sodelpa's 30-member management board - 16 voted in favour of the PA-NFP alliance and 14 for FijiFirst - after three days of intense negotiations.