Leaders in Tamboko are serious about social distancing, so serious that they are looking at limiting all public gatherings and social activities held in their community.

Social distancing is the practice of maintaining physical distance (1.5m or more) from other people. This practice, though simple, is seen as an effective way of minimizing exposure to Covid-19 and reduce the transmission of infection should there be an outbreak.

In the past couple of weeks, leaders including chiefs in Tamboko have held meetings aimed at putting in measures to safeguard their community.

Chief Ludovick Kaulake says one of the main outcomes of the meeting is the suspension of some of its yearly social and cultural activities.

He says it is everyone’s role to make sure the community is free from COVID-19 threats.

He says community groups including youths and outside organizations wishing to conduct huge gatherings and social activities must now consult with the community’s taskforce committee.

"We have seen during church service, not even a big activity was organized and only small activities after the church service’’, he said.

"We are not far from Honiara, just only a few kilometres. I think placing some community rules will help to safeguard my community from the Covid 19 threats even though the country is yet to record a confirmed case.”

He further adds all communities will again meet for their final meeting in the coming weeks.

The outcome of the meeting will be made known to the community by distribution of letters to each household.

He said this is to avoid confusion in the community. Other surrounding communities will be informed of these measures as well.

Chief Kaulake says the measures will be lifted once the State of Emergency ends.

Preparing the community and ensuring that people are used to such measures does have its merits. Experts say that the timing of social distancing interventions can reduce the spread of the epidemic. The more prepared a community is for such measures, the less exposed they will be should the virus spread.

The ability and preparedness of countries to contain and control transmission is critical in the absence of a vaccine.