Posted by : Posted on : 16-Apr-2020

“Only a Covid-19 vaccine will allow a return to normalcy.”  UN Chief.

According to the UN Chief only a Covid-19 vaccine will allow a return to normalcy, a report by AFP has stated early today.  I will quote the article.

“A COVID-19 vaccine may be the only thing that can bring back "normalcy," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday, hoping for just that before the end of the year.

"A safe and effective vaccine may be the only tool that can return the world to a sense of 'normalcy,' saving millions of lives and countless trillions of dollars," he added during a video conference with the 50 or so African countries that are members of the United Nations.

“He called for its accelerated development and accessibility to all, adding it must have a "universal global benefit" and "allow us to control the pandemic."

"We need an ambitious effort to ensure that international stakeholders operate through a harmonized, integrated and leveraged approach to maximize the speed and scale needed for the universal deployment of such a vaccine by the end of 2020," he insisted.

“Guterres said his appeal on March 25 for $2 billion in donations for a comprehensive UN humanitarian response to the pandemic had so far raised about 20 percent of that amount.”

In relation to the Solomon Islands to-date no cases of coronavirus has been detected and the local health authorities are doing everything to prevent the possible importation of the disease.

The Solomon Islands Government has taken all necessary but proactive measures to fight against the potential entry and/ or spread of the coronavirus in the country since its declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC

One can read daily news relating to the pandemic but I turn to reliable and trusted news services to get a wider and more reliable view of happenings in the fight against Covid-19 in the context of the Solomon Islands, and then formulate an overview for the followers of my internationally viewed and accessed website – www.solomonislandsinfocus.com

Here is my contribution for today, Thursday, 16 April.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) Government has officially handed a cash grant of SBD$2.5 Million dollars to support the Solomon Islands Government in its efforts to combat COVID-19 in the country.

Speaking during a handover ceremony at the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet during the handover, Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Jeremiah Manele, MP stated, “The cash grant is in addition to numerous supports the Peoples Republic of China has contributed to help us respond to Corona Virus should it reach our shores.”

The Peoples Republic of China has also donated laboratory equipment and reagents, coronavirus test kits and personal protective equipment.

Very much as I predicted in letter I wrote in the past few days about the unintended outcome of large numbers of Solomon Islanders fleeing Honiara for their home provinces after the Declaration of a State of Public Emergency came into force, it is claimed that the on-going repatriation exercise undertaken by the national government in its efforts to prevent, mitigate and possibly contain the spread of COVID-19 to the rural areas has put extra pressure on families to feed their relatives.

One community leader has called on MP’s to visit their constituencies to see first-hand the plight of the people in the rural areas and do whatever it takes to lessen the burden on families

On the regional front in the fight against coronavirus it has been reported that the French military has sent more than two tonnes of emergency supplies from its base in New Caledonia to Vanuatu after the devastation caused by tropical cyclone Harold hampered efforts to deal with a possible Covid-19 threat.

In Suva in Fiji the lockdown is continuing until all Covid-19 targets are met. As of Wednesday this week, health authorities had screened more than 30,000 people either at fever clinics or in their homes.

Meanwhile, the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) said this week $US3.7 million had been paid out to those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Fund said out of this, the government had contributed $US530,000.

It said 10,670 members were able to access their funds but 2431 weren't successful because forms were incomplete, were unsigned by members and employers, or because additional documents were not received.

Earlier, the Australian government announced $US6.8 million in budget support for Fiji to tackle the Covid-19 threat in the country.

The University of the South Pacific (USP) will resume classes next Monday, but on a remote-basis only.

In a statement the USP said while many of its campuses remained in lockdown, students were still able to access teaching materials through its Moodle app.

On the world stage New Zealand continues to receive much praise for its tough stance on fighting the coronavirus pandemic and the Prime Minister Jacinda Adern particularly singled out for her outstanding leadership in tackling the coronavirus crises at home.

News sources:  Radio New Zealand, Solomon Star, OPMC, Solomon Times on Line,  AFP and Your Life Choices.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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