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Solomons declare State of Public Emergency because of Covid-19
6:12 pm GMT+12, 25/03/2020, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands declared a State of Public Emergency as the country ramps up its response to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
 
The country has no confirmed cases and currently has three suspected samples pending tests results.
 
The declaration was announced by the Governor-General David Vunagi.
 
“In accordance with section 16.2 of the Consittion I hearby proclaim and declare that a State of Public Emergency now exists in Solomon Island.”
 
Immediately after the declaration on state radio the Attorney General, John Muria Junior, told the country the state of emergency was not the same as a lockdown despite what was being shared on social media.
 
“I also urge and reiterate that government's call for us to remain calm and not to panic," Muria said.
 
“Further I would also like to reiterate that there is no confirmed case in Solomon Islands and this declaration is in no way associated with any confirmed case Covid-19.”
 
Muria said according to the Constitution, the State of Public Emergency, would last for two weeks, within which time parliament must be reconvened to extend it.
 
More details of what restrictions would be put in place as a result of the declaration were still to be announced by the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS


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