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Up to 45 locals are currently being quarantined at various locations in east Honiara in Solomon Islands.
That's according the Minister for Health and Medical Services Dickson Mua in an interview, Thursday.
Mua said those quarantined were returnees from Australia.
He said Guadalcanal Beach Resort, the former RAMSI base, hosts the highest number of people with 23 being held there.
He added the former Telekom Recreational Centre now run by the National Hosting Authority houses 12 while the centre at Henderson hosts 10.
“These numbers exclude those who are home quarantined," Mua explained.
He also added that those quarantined arrived at different times, but they will still have to spend 14 days at the quarantine sites.
“They are being closely monitored by members of the Government’s COVID-19 taskforce,” Mua said.
The Government had announced that as of last Sunday all returning passengers must be quarantined for 14 days at the quarantine centres before they are allowed into the community.
Mua also said the King George sixth school is currently unoccupied.
It’s understood Solomon Airline still flies to Brisbane three times a week, a reduction from its usual six flights to the Australian city.
The country is yet to record a case, but the Government this week imposed a ban on foreigners entering the country and has declared a state of public emergency.
Meanwhile, Attoney General of Solomon Islands, John Muria Junior says the declaration of State of Emergency here is not a lockdown, as it is happening in other neighbouring countries that have contracted the coronavirus.
Muria made the clarification after the Governor-General Sir David Vunagi declared the State of Public Emergency for the Solomon Islands over the period of 4 months, starting mid-week.
“The declaration does not mean that a lockdown will be enforced as currently circulated in the social media,” he said.
He said a lockdown is a measure available under emergency powers.
“At the moment the government is considering all measures and will be implementing certain measures as when necessary by an order made under the emergency powers regulations,” he said.
Muria Jnr, however, explains the state of public emergency declared is a situation in which a government is empowered to perform actions or impose policies that it wouldn’t normally be permitted to undertake.
“A government can declare such a stage during a natural disaster, medical pandemic/epidemic, civil unrest or armed conflict.
“Such declarations are designed to alert citizens to change their normal behaviour and orders government agencies to implement emergency plans,” he added.
Several citizens have already called on the government for lockdown and for a total shutdown of international flights in and out of the country.
Melanesian neighbours Papua New Guinea and Fiji are now in lockdown stage following their recent encounter with positive cases as well as Australia and New Zealand whilst the Solomon Islands only closes its borders to non-citizens.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS
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