The Western Border represents a potential source of Covid-19 incursion into the country.

The revelation was made by the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Friday 7th January during his first nationwide address via the national broadcaster (SIBC).

“The Western Border continues to be an area of priority for health, the RSIPF and other border force agencies,” he said.

The PM went on to cite the 1st January incident where a man from the Shortland Islands was travelling with four Bougainvillean to our side of the border.

“The four Bougainvillean returned straight after dropping off the man in the Shortlands.

“The man is now held at the quarantine facility in Nila along with 7 members of his family with whom he had made close contact.”

Mr Sogavare stressed that the family will undergo 14 days of quarantine and will only be released once all test results returned negative.

In the meantime the PM said that the 5 locals held at the Nila Isolation Ward are due for release once their final Covid tests returned negative.

“My good people living along the Western Border I ask you to refrain from going across the border to Bougainville.

“I also ask you not to allow any visitors from Bougainville to come to your villages during the period of the State of Public Emergency.

“Please continue to be vigilant to prevent the entry of Covid-19 through our Western Border,” he said.

The PM went on to applaud and thank the chiefs and communities living along the border who have supported the government’s operations at the Western Border to date.

Because the possibility of the Covid-19 virus entering the country is real, the PM once again calls on all eligible members of the public to get vaccinated.

He also urges citizens to start practicing safe Covid-19 measures and not to wait for community transmission to happen before doing so.

He said that the two most transmissible and deadliest variants of Covid-19 are both now in the country and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the safety of oneself and those in our communities.

The PM mentioned that the fight against Covid-19 is everyone’s business because we are all in this together.