Posted by : Posted on : 04-Apr-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.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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