The Leader of Opposition, Hon. Matthew Wale blasts the government and calls for an investigation into last week’s blunder which resulted in 3 foreign crew members from an incoming yacht, freely wandering ashore on arrival.

It was reported on Sunday that 3 foreign crew members of a New Caledonia yacht, were quickly dealt with after the management of the Yacht club alerted authorities. All 3 were tested for COVID-19 and the results were negative.

The Opposition Leader says while the threat may have been handled well, the incident clearly exposes serious loopholes in our preparedness vessel monitoring plan.

He points out that the incident begs the questions, where the responsible authorities were and what happened to the 14-day quarantine restriction.

“Do we even have a red flag monitoring system for incoming foreign vessels on arrival?” Hon. Wale further questioned.

The Opposition Leader adds that regardless of whether the crew were carriers of the virus or not, the bottom line is, the incident called into question the effectiveness of our preparedness plans to monitor and contain vessels, cargo and crew on arrival.

“From the reports, it seems, everything that was glorified was after the fact. How can people have confidence in a system that is reactionary?”

“I therefore call on the government to investigate this incident and to deal with those responsible for the blunder.

“If the government thinks it is important to prosecute members of the public who breach restrictions, it must do the same also for officials who blatantly fail their duties to protect the public at our borders,” Hon. Wale further added.

The sailors, who reportedly sailed from New Caledonia, are currently in isolation and are being monitored despite their negative test results.

New Caledonia reportedly had 23 cases of COVID-19 – and all 23 cases have since recovered from the deadly virus. The COVID-19 pandemic reached New Caledonia on 18 March 2020. All cases are on the main island of Grand Terre and are related to travel abroad.