Breach at quarantine site

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The breach took place at the fence just below the quarantine rooms, above the Island Sun office car park. Photo by Peter Zoleveke II
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BY ALFRED PAGEPITU

A breach at the high-risk quarantine station at one of the hotels in Honiara’s CBD, where one covid-19 case was detected, took place yesterday.

A member of public handed over a package to a person in quarantine through the fence around 4.30pm.

Witnesses say the young man entered the Island Sun office gate and walked over to a corner of the fence shared with the hotel and threw a package over, and a quarantined person collected it from inside. [The Island Sun premises is adjacent to the hotel, and share a common fence]

Camp Management looking after the King Solomon Hotel quarantine, when notified, said their security personnel had spotted the exchange taking place and they have dealt with the incident.

“Our security personnel had spotted the exchange and were in the process of dealing with it before you [Island Sun] reported the incident and made your inquiries. So, yes we are aware of the matter and have dealt with it. We have identified the quarantined person involved and will deal with him.”

The young man who brought over the package fled the scene when Island Sun reporter began asking him questions of his activities.

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Police Media, when contacted yesterday, said according to protocol Police will be expecting a full report from the Institutional Quarantine Facilities (IQF) committee following the incident. Police will only act after they receive the report from IQF.

It is understood quarantine site protocol state that family members or friends of persons in quarantine wishing to bring food should go through quarantine security at the front entrance.

The young man in yesterday’s incident clearly chose not to follow this.

When sought for comment, the Hotel Management explains that the accommodation wings, where quarantine is being done, have been condoned off to public and hotel workers, and the understanding is that quarantine camp management has their own security who are responsible for the rooms and surrounding areas, including the fence around the accommodation.

“And, the member of public who is reported to have breached protocols had accessed the fence through a private area adjacent to the hotel, which we have no control over.

“The hotel securities only look after the front public area,” the hotel’s spokesperson said.

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