The world has recorded 436 million cases of Coronavirus to date. This is roughly a million infections a day. Interestingly, the pandemic is showing signs of slowing and hopefully the trends recorded will continue to improve.

Dr. Jimmy Rogers, the Secretary to Prime Minister (SPM), revealed the statistics when giving his overview of the global Covid-19 situation during a talkback show over the weekend.

He however cautioned that it would be premature to celebrate this turn of events since Covid-19 is still very much an existential threat to humanity and Solomon Island is no exception.

Dr. Rogers mentioned that some neighboring countries are still experiencing high daily infections.

“Solomon Island on the other hand has seen some improvement but this does not mean that we are out of the woods just yet.

“At least it gives us a better idea of where we are heading and whether or not the measures implemented are working,” he said.

The Oversight Committee had held a meeting with representatives of Solomon Islands Full Gospel Association (SIFGA) and Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) on Thursday of last week to look into the possibility of reopening churches.

“The meeting was productive and fruitful because we managed to share with the churches the government’s policy direction on the safe reopening of churches and that does mean the lifting of restrictions and the number of people that can worship at any one time,” the SPM said.

He said that the churches have highlighted certain areas that the government should take into consideration.

In the main he added that the churches have had the same objectives as the government and that is to control Covid-19 by reducing the potential for transmission through stringent implementation of safety protocols such as the wearing of masks and social distancing.

“The churches are now empowered and hopefully by next week, more churches will welcome their parishioners whilst simultaneously observing the guidelines that we have discussed and agreed on,” Dr. Rogers stressed.

He highlighted that these measures are applicable to churches in the emergency zones and those in Covid-19 free areas can proceed with church services and activities as normal.

The other area that the SPM also touched on is the reopening of schools. Dr Rogers mentioned that the Ministry of Education and Human Resources (MEHRD) has completed an information paper, which the has already been forwarded to the Oversight Committee.

Dr. Rogers said that the paper will then be forwarded to Cabinet with recommendations for their consideration and approval.

The final area he updated the nation on is the repatriation of nationals especially our students from Fiji.

“Our thinking at the moment is that we are looking at Wednesday March the 9th, 2022 as the date for the first repatriation flight,” he mentioned.

The SPM stated that the Committee is finalizing arrangements with Solomon Airlines.