Members of the health and medical services committee (HMSC) of Parliament visited the newly refurbished multipurpose hall, the latest addition to declared quarantine sites in the country.

One of the key functions of the health and medical services committee (HMSC) is to examines, scrutinize, and make recommendations on matters referred to it by Parliament or Government on matters relating to health and medical services. In this case the committee is looking into preparedness efforts undertaken by government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

This is the first site visit made by the HMSC – the aim is to get firsthand information on the standards and safety protocols being established at quarantine sites. This compliments the work the committee is doing, and an important feature of parliamentary committee inquiries.

The refurbished and repurposed multipurpose hall quarantine site was made possible through funding support from Australia and New Zealand.

In a recent statement Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says that the multipurpose hall quarantine site will be used as an isolation ward for low risk COVID-19 cases, such as asymptomatic patients.

Pending site visits in the Province and Honiara will be made upon advise from the Quarantine Site Camp Management Team, Ministry of Health, and the COVID-19 Oversight Committee as these are no go zones.

Health and Medical Services Committee members are:
1. Hon. Charles Sigoto - Chairman
2. Hon. Lily Maefai – Committee member
3. Hon. Dr. Tautai Angikimua Kaitu’u – Committee member

The National Parliament Office says that the committee’s terms of reference states clearly that the committee has the the power to make such site visits. The site visits provide committee members an opportunity to scrutinize and make recommendations, if there are any, when it reports to Parliament.