Jarvis: Vigorous COVID-19 testing can resuscitate tourism in the Pacific

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Source: Jarun Ontakrai / Shutterstock By BEN BILUA Australia’s Trade and Investment Commissioner Caleb Jarvis says tourism industry in the Pacific can resuscitate if respective countries improve coronavirus (COVID-19) testing mechanisms. Speaking to journalists this week, Mr Jarvis said COVID-19 testing was an important component of reopening the boarders under the Pacific Bubble initiative. Jarvis: Picture: He said the resumption of air travel through the trans-Pacific Bubble was critical for the tourism industry. "But equally important is to know the level of information with regards to the presence of COVID-19 in country of destination," he said. Mr Jarvis said…

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USP Council lifts suspension of academic chief

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Flags of USP's 12-member countries fly high outside the USPSA Federal Office at Laucala campus. The student body had taken the flags down when the VCP was suspended on June 8. The flags were raised this morning to support good governance at USP. Picture: USPSA/SUPPLIED By WANSOLWARA STAFF The suspension of University of the South Pacific's Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, has been lifted by the USP Council following a seven-hour virtual meeting today. The institution's highest decision-making body convened a virtual special council meeting to determine whether the Executive Committee’s (EC) recent decision to suspend Vice-Chancellor Pal Ahluwalia…

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$37k grant to boost training for women entrepreneurs

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From left: WEBC chairwoman Eseta Nadakuitavuki, US Embassador to Fiji Joseph Cella and Makoi Vocational Centre manager Shazna Khan after signing the grant agreement at the embassy in Suva today. Picture: WANSOLWARA By WANSOLWARA STAFF The Women Entrepreneurs Business Council (WEBC) received a timely grant of $US17,360 ($F37,640) from the US Embassy Suva today to run the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) for as many as 90 Fijian women entrepreneurs. The grant would enable the academy to guide women business owners through training programmes that were Fiji-focused and vital for their upskilling in areas of entrepreneurship and business management. US…

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Date set for USP Council meeting, validity of VC’s suspension on agenda

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Students from USP's Marshall Islands campus stand their ground for good governance to prevail. Picture: PYLOTs/USPSA By GERALDINE PANAPASA and JARED KOLI THE University of the South Pacific Council is expected to conduct a virtual meeting on Friday to determine whether the Executive Committee’s recent decision to suspend Vice-Chancellor Pal Ahluwalia was valid. And according to USP’s incoming Chancellor Lionel Aingimea, the Council would also determine whether the suspension would be overturned. Mr Aingimea had earlier indicated a Council meeting be held tomorrow, however, a statement released today and addressed to Pro-Chancellor Winston Thompson set the highly-anticipated gathering for later…

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Thompson maintains stance on suspension of USP’s VC

  3 weeks ago     362 Views     Leave your thoughts  

USP staff and students gather outside the New Administration Conference Room to show support for suspended VC Professor Pal Ahluwalia. Picture: Eliki Drugunalevu By WANSOLWARA STAFF The decision to suspend the academic chief of The University of the South Pacific pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of material misconduct was made legally by the University’s executive committee, says Pro-Chancellor Winston Thompson. Mr Thompson was responding to claims from concerned staff, students and some council members that the suspension of Vice-Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia on Monday was illegitimate. During a press conference at USP’s Research Office at Laucala campus…

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USP Journalism alumni receive grant for environmental reporting

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Piles of logs in the Solomon Islands. Six journalists from the South Pacific have been awarded story grants by Internews' Earth Journalism Network to cover environmental reporting in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Picture: File By WANSOLWARA STAFF/EJN Two USP Journalism alumni are among six recipients of a prestigious regional environmental reporting fellowship. Experienced journalists Stanley Simpson and Sheldon Chanel were awarded story grants from the Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) to conduct investigative environmental reporting in the country. Chanel, who is also a consulting editor for Wansolwara, The University of the South Pacific’s independent journalism student newspaper…

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App to boost contact tracing for coronavirus

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Government's new mobile app initiative is expected to boost contact tracing for COVID-19 in Fiji. Picture: Flickr By JOSEFA BABITU Fiji is awaiting the green light from software distributors regarding an app that will mobilise the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. The ‘careFIJI’ app is an initiative by the Government aimed at harnessing phones’ Bluetooth technology to make any future contact tracing faster, easier and more effective while protecting the privacy of the user. During a press conference last week, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the app would help save lives, bring back jobs, and increase confidence…

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COVID-19 delivers a body blow to Pacific tourism

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The Asian Development Bank expects tourism-based economies in the Pacific to drop by 0.3 per cent this year. Picture: GUARDIAN PACIFIC/ By SHELDON CHANEL, Guardian Pacific The Pacific’s $4.2 billion tourism industry has been brought to its knees by COVID-19, with no certain signs of a proper recovery for at least two years. Tourism receipts from air travel alone totalled US$4.2b in 2019, an increase from US$4b in 2018. The economic fallout from the decline is expected to be severe in a region prone to natural disasters, and high levels of poverty and unemployment. National airlines in Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa,…

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Solomon Islands students assist victims of TC Harold

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Students and officials head to families affected by TC Harold at Naikorokoro Settlement in Lami. Picture: SUPPLIED By BEN BILUA Solomon Islands students studying at various universities in Fiji braved the rain on Saturday to donate food, clothing as well as cash to 18 families who were badly affected by Tropical Cyclone Harold. President of Solomon Islands Students Association (SISA), Peter Maclean, and Solomon Islands Education Attaché to Fiji, Francis Tavava, led the relief distribution program with the help of an officer from the Fiji National Disaster Management Office. A family at Nakasi thanked SISA president Peter Maclean for the…

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Three recover from COVID-19, PM urges adherence to restrictions

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Health checks have commenced around the country in an effort to combat COVID-19. Picture: Fijian Government FB Page By JOSEFA BABITU As Fiji continues to battle the novel coronavirus outbreak, good news emerged yesterday as three Fijians who contracted the virus have fully recovered, according to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. The PM confirmed this after two tests were conducted by the health ministry. “These Fijians have tested negative for the virus twice, with over 24 hours in between tests,” he said during a press conference in Suva. “We should celebrate these recoveries. But we should do so knowing Fiji’s recovery…

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