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Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has clarified that no foreigner is exempted from the 28 days quarantine.
Sogavare made this clarification following misleading statements published in the social media recently.
He said foreigners that arrived in the country on the repatriation flights last week are in quarantine for 28 days.
“Claims that these foreign nationals are exempted from quarantine are malicious lies,” Sogavare said.
“The people of our beloved country do not deserve to be lied to, especially during a state of public emergency,” he added.
Prime Minister Sogavare said spreading of such lies is not only malicious but also pathetic.
“If any of you need to clarify certain issues please simply contact the relevant authorities.
“As a responsible Government we welcome constructive criticisms from everyone.
“But this Government does not welcome certain people who continue to lie to our people under the pretext of constructive criticisms,” he said.
The Prime Minister said his Government is responsible for protecting citizens from being exposed to such lies that are being regurgitated and perpetuated over and over again by certain people.
In the case of the seven Australian cabin crews, Prime Minister Sogavare further clarified that he made two Orders specifically for the cabin crews who flew in with Solomon Airlines during the repatriation flights.
He said firstly to allow them to enter the country and secondly to exempt them from quarantine while transiting.
“These Orders were made after the cabin crew were cleared and satisfied all health protocols, and in accordance with standard operating procedures.
“These cabin crews have since left our country back to Brisbane with Solomon Airlines on 27 May 2020,” he said.
The Prime Minister said these Orders offer reciprocal treatment for our Solomon Airline pilots in Brisbane.
“The Australian government exempts our pilots from quarantine while in Australia, which is the only reason they can fly to repatriate our nationals.
“That is the same arrangement we offered the aircrew on Tuesday evening, for one night only, to ensure our citizens in Port Vila and Fiji could be been repatriated,” Sogavare explained.
Meanwhile, the first in-country testing for COVID-19 has turned out negative.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare revealed this on Friday in his weekly nation-wide address.
“From all the passengers that returned on the two flights, three passengers were red-flagged,” Sogavare said.
“One of the three was sent to triage at the National Referral Hospital upon arrival,” he added.
“With the recently launched COVID-19 testing capabilities, the suspect underwent COVID-19 testing and within just two hours the tests results were made available.
“The result was negative.”
Sogavare said the other two were assessed by health officials at the airport and sent with the rest of the passengers to the quarantine sites and are undergoing regular medical monitoring.
Prime Minister Sogavare added that everyone under quarantine is being monitored on a daily basis for COVID-19 like signs and symptoms during the course of the quarantine period.
He said anyone showing COVID like signs will immediately be taken for testing.
The Prime Minister further explained that all the other passengers would be subjected to a test upon completion of their quarantine period.
He said they would return home if results are negative.
Meanwhile, Sogavare thanked Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu and Fiji governments for taking care of our citizens and facilitating their smooth return.
He also welcomed back our returning citizens on behalf of the Government.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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