The Government has clarified the question of ‘why it is necessary for a lockdown’.
A lockdown is set to take place from 6pm on Wednesday 20th May 2020 to 6am on Friday 22nd May 2020.
The lockdown will only for Honiara between Alligator Creek to Poha River.
Secretary to Prime Minister (SPM)Dr Jimmie Rodgers has reiterated that the reason behind the lockdown is to test our capability and preparedness plans.
Dr Rodgers said the Government has a strategy in place to implement in the situation that we have a recorded case in the country.
“It is important that the government tests our capability so that we can identify our weaknesses and where we need to improve in the case that we have a confirm case in the country,” he said.
The Secretary to Prime Minister said to support this, there are a number of factors to consider.
Firstly, he said Solomon Islands would soon reopen its border to repatriate stranded citizens overseas back to the country.
Therefore, he said the potential risk of the virus coming in is there.
As far as we know, those people do not have the virus but it still opens up the risk for our country. So we are not taking any chances,” he said.
Dr Rodgers said another important aspect is that the Government wants to test our country’s capability when businesses and schools are back to normal operations.
The Secretary to Prime Minister also emphasised that with the country’s testing capacity ready to be used this week, it will also assist our health authority to undergo contact tracing.
“This is an opportune time for our health experts to also prepare them to plan on what to do if there is a case,” he said.
Dr Rodgers said the Government acknowledged concerns that the lockdown might be seen as inconvenient but stressed that the best any responsible Government could do is to strengthen its capability to protect its citizens.
“We are so fortunate that we are a COVID-19 free country and that we are blessed to be given time to initiate such lockdown to help prepare ourselves,” he said.
He explained that in the case that Solomon Islands records a positive case, we might be looking at a total lockdown for at least two weeks.
“So our preparedness is very important and we are urging citizens to understand the reasons,” he said.
“The key message is to stay at home.”
Meanwhile, the Public has been encouraged to pay attention to the following times:
- The Public Service will close for normal services at 12:00pm on Wednesday 20 May
- All Business House will close for operations at 2:00pm on Wednesday 20 May
- The Honiara Central Market will close for business at 2:00pm on Wednesday 20 May
- All domestic vessels must depart and arrive in Honiara port by 2:00pm on Wednesday 20 May
- All Solomon Airlines domestic flights must depart and arrive at Honiara Airport by 2:00pm Wednesday 20 May
- All Public Transports Services (Taxis and Buses) must stop operations at 5:00pm Wednesday 20 May
- The General Public must arrive at their places of residence by 5:30pm on Wednesday 20 May
- All flights and vessels departing and arriving in Honiara must operate by 9:00am Friday 22 May.