MV TAEMAREHO : RSIPF making investigations.
Solomon Stat News – 4 Apri 2020
“Officers from the Royal Solomon Island Police Force in Auki are now assisting the captain and crew of the boat TAEMAREHO to confirm how many people might have gone are missing from boat MV Taemareho in the early hours of 3 April 2020 while the vessel was travelling from Taivu to Aiarai in West Are ‘are in Malaita Province.
“Reports reaching the Police say there was no record of the names of the people who boarded the boat when it left Honiara for Aiarai in West Are’Are on the evening of 2 March 2020. This is making it difficult to determine at this stage how many people are perhaps missing until a thorough check has been done.”
4 April 2020
China supplying medical supplies to the Solomon Islands, to the United Kingdom and the United States.
It has been widely reported in recent days that the Chinese Government gave $300,000 to the Solomon Islands government last week in support of local efforts to combat coronavirus.
It has also been mentioned in media reports that the Chinese Government in Beijing has sent two ships from Guangdong carrying several thousand face masks and protective suits donated by Guangdong province.
The Chinese Embassy in Honiara to buy equipment from the official Beijing Genomics Institution.
It is perhaps unknown that on 2 April, Virgin Atlantic, in the United Kingdom, restarted its flights to Shanghai on behalf of the UK’s National Health Service.
Virgin Atlantic has become the first British airline to restart flights to China to bring back much needed medical supplies for the front-line health care workers.
The flights resumed with support from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Department of Health, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the British Embassy in Beijing.
Perhaps also unknown is the fact that the White House in the United States approved the airlift of medical supplies from China towards the end of March.
According to a report in the New York Times on 29 March 2020 a plane delivered 130,000 N95 masks, 1.8 million face masks, 10 million gloves and thousands of thermometers for distribution to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The same news report said the USA will require 3.5 billion masks if the coronavirus pandemic lasts a year.
3 April 2020
Disaster authorities in the Solomon Islands reported "stretched to the limit" in coping with Cyclone Harold.
The disaster authorities in the Solomon Islands, already dealing with a Covid-19 State of Public Emergency, have been stretched thin on the ground by Cyclone Harold which continues to spread through the south of the country, having left trail destruction in the capital of Honiara.
The Director of the National Disaster Management Office, Loti Yates, told Radio New Zealand at least two ships had been washed ashore, fallen trees were blocking roads and the power was out in many areas.
Mr Yates said the first priority was to get assessment teams out to affected communities, with initial reports indicating dozens of families had been forced to flee their homes.
He said it was a challenging time for emergency crews.
"There is a huge gap in our ability to resource and mobilise teams to the provinces. It is going to be a huge, huge challenge especially logistics to get people out."
Mr Yates said food and water security and health issues would be key areas to be targeted as assessments were completed.
Earlier the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre reported that dozens of people could be missing at sea after an inter-provincial vessel got caught up in rough seas and windy conditions associated with the cyclone.
Source: Radio New Zealand.
4 April 2020
Solomon Islands: Response measures to combat COVID -19 are necessary and requiring full compliance
Yesterday, in a nation- wide address, the Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, assured the public that the government was making steady progress in its preparedness and response plan for COVID 19. He said the process of preparing and responding to the negative effects of COVID 19 was progressing well.
It is encouraging that the country remains free from coronavirus and this surely attests to the response measures that have been adopted and a reflection on the ‘front line’ personnel assigned to duties at the border points effectively undertaking barrier control measures. I believe the public are due thanks, too, for the responsible manner in which they have complied with the restrictive control measures that the government was compelled to introduce to keep COVID -19 at bay.
There have been some reports, however, of a few persons using social media to make false reports relating to the measures the government has adopted. The law provides provisions for charges to be brought against those spreading rumours and false stories and the unlawful practices should stop immediately.
I wrote yesterday about the great need for social distancing in order to prevent the spread of infection from one person to another and the advice about social distancing is really important.
Few have ever been required to abide by the stringent measures the government, and other governments have been compelled to make in order to prevent coronavirus, but they are necessary and should be complied with.
In neighbouring Australia, I would like to share what the Prime Minister has found it necessary to advise to keep the citizens of his country safe from COVID - 19
All those over 70 have been told to stay at home under strict new lockdown measures.
Parks and playgrounds have been closed and gatherings of more than two, yes two, effectively outlawed.
People that disregard social distancing, isolation or quarantine orders can receive fines of A$1000 or more.
People have been told to stay at home except for the following reasons: (A) shopping for what is needed, food and other essential supplies that enable one to remain at home and to do any shopping as infrequently as possible; (B) for medical care or compassionate needs; (C) to exercise in compliance with the public gathering rules outlined, and (D) for work and education if one cannot work or learn remotely.
Australia’s Chief medical officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, has reinforced the PM’s advice for all Australians to stay at home.
3 April 2020
Solomon Islands: Tough times ahead which demand national unity and obedience to the rules demanded by social distancing and a stop to rumour mongering leading to the spread of false stories
Mr.Jay Bartlett, the Chairman of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) had an important message to the people of the Solomon Islands when he addressed the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 25 March.
What he had to say on that occasion is worth sharing, and I quote:
“As the Central Bank has highlighted recently in their media statement, the impact of the global pandemic [ COVID-19) could potentially have far-reaching impacts on our health, our economy and our way of life as we know it.”
“The Chamber has raised in the past Solomon Islands’ vulnerability with a narrow economic base that is too reliant on resources which leaves the country exposed to global fluctuations in commodity prices and the urgent need to act to diversify our base.”
“The CBSI has said the coronavirus will likely have a considerable negative impact on the Solomon Islands economy.”
“The spread and considerable disruption of this pandemic will be exacerbated by the increasingly intertwined trade and investment relationships between China and its neighbours in the Asia Pacific region.”
“Being a small open economy, the Solomon Islands will likely be adversely affected through the trade channel and thereafter the economy, and even fiscal operations.”
“In the past when we as a nation have faced significant challenges, we have proven to be resilient. And today is no different. We are in uncharted waters as a nation, region, and people.”
“In the coming days, we need to be prepared for some of the changes that will be put in place that will restrict our personal liberties, our businesses and our engagement with the world at large.”
“For the economy, we need to act like there is a crisis before we actually get into one and we will be working closely with our political leadership to look at what measures can be put in place to give the support in the areas that it needed the most.”
Uncharted waters indeed and “rough seas and times” that demand the united efforts of everyone to survive the unprecedented events that have fallen essentially without warning.
Cooperating and working together very much as a ‘home team’ cannot be over-emphasised as the government and the opposition combine to help steer the nation through troubled seas.
This week, the Leader of Opposition Matthew Wale made some comments about the large numbers of people that had ‘flooded the National Provident Fund (NPF) office who had gone there to get advice or withdraw their personal funds.
MrWale implied the “process adopted by the NPF was contrary to the emergency measures now in place to stop people congregating in large numbers and keeping a distance of 1.5 meters apart.
Mr. Wale said the “measures” were important to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus and such measures should never be compromised.
Social distancing which Mr Wale was referring to is absolutely essential for people to abide by to help eradicate the coronavirus.
When the deadly disease was first reported and people were advised to keep their distance and not to meet in large numbers, many continued to disregard the warnings and acted irresponsibly.
Now people are dying worldwide, they have begun to take the self-distancing rules far more seriously and I would urge all in the Solomon Islands to follow the rules Mr Wale referred to.