Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has called on the public to respect frontliners as they have sacrificed so much to keep the country safe.

"I need not remind you all that the only reason this country still enjoys freedom is a direct result of the sacrifices of our frontline workers and their families," Prime Minister Sogavare said during his national address today.

He also gave a stern warning to those that abuse health workers, that any such abuse or threats will not be tolerated.

"Perpetrators will be arrested and charged according to the law.

"I also remind the public that it is an offence under the SOPE Regulations to abuse or threaten any authorized officer that is doing his or her job to protect the citizens of this country from COVID-19," Sogavare said.

He says that the vaccination teams are doing a great service to the country and must be respected. 

"I ask all citizens of our beloved country that love your country, that want to see this nation prosper and its people protected from COVID-19, to stand up and work with our vaccination teams and help them do their job in protecting your families, your communities, and our country.

"They deserve our appreciation, not abuse or threats," the Prime Minister said. 

As of 7 August 2021, a total of 56,928 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to the public.

13,188 people have now been fully vaccinated, which is still only 3.2 % of the total eligible population of 414,327 people.

Sogavare says vaccination coverage is expected to increase since 30,552 people have now received their first jab. Sogavare continues to urge those eligible for the vaccine to get their first jab quickly as new variants continue to emerge.