Check’em properly

Renbel premier calls on national government to do thorough screening of ships allowed into the province

By Mike Puia

In Tigoa

THE Renbel provincial Premier, Willie Tuhagenga, has appealed to the national government, through responsible authorities, to do thorough checks on foreign ships entering the country.

Premier Tuhagenga made this appeal yesterday reacting to reports that foreign ships entering his two-island province do not undergo medical checks.

Island Sun visited Tigoa, Renbel’s provincial centre in West Rennell, yesterday and was informed of the high number of foreign ships entering the province.

Logging and mining barges and ships moved in and out of Rennell island. These vessels find shelter at Lavagu Bay, Rennell’s main sea port.

These barges and ships are engaged by logging and mining companies that are active in West Rennell to ship out logs and raw bauxite.

The arrival of a ship to Lavagu Bay last Saturday night with four coronavirus suspects prompted the provincial premier to call for proper checks.

The ship reportedly came from China. It also reportedly came through quarantine and customs check at Noro Port in the Western province before heading to Rennell but there was no medical check done.

Tuhagenga said any foreign ship that comes to his province must come through thorough check including medical check on those onboard.

“We are concerned that ships are coming to our island regularly which poses a health worry,” Premier Tuhagenga said.

He said even domestic ships should come through thorough checks by responsible authorities to avoid the transfer of diseases and sickness.

A local doctor, who was flown to Rennell on Monday to get samples from the four coronavirus suspects, Dr Pedical Togamae, expressed that ships traveling to Rennell via Noro should be banned.

“In the future, it would be best to ban any incoming ships coming from these places (countries where coronavirus reached),” Togamae said.

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