BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
PEOPLES Republic of China (PRC) is supporting Solomon Islands with testing kits for the Wuhan Coronavirus (COVID-19).
This assistance goes towards boosting Solomon Islands’ preparations for any possible entry by covid-19.
Speaking at a media conference on Tuesday 17th March, Chinese Counselor Yao Ming announced that his government is providing urgent assistance to help Solomons respond to the current outbreak of covid-19.
Mr Ming said the Chinese government has stepped in to assist because China and Solomon Islands are friends and “as the Chinese saying goes a friend in need is a friend indeed”.
“Your problem is our problem your difficulty is our difficulty so we are quite empathetic with your situation that is the reason why we have decided to send some medical supplies by providing testing kits,” he said.
“Beijing has agreed to provide a bunch of testing kits and now we are working out the logistic support issues about how to make sure these medical kits are transported into the country because it contains chemical substance.
“This is to help you make sure your testing and storage capabilities would be maximised to safe guard your people’s life and their health even if there is no confirmed case, but this is in case the future needs Solomon Islands government is ready to responds.”
Dr Jimmy Rodgers, caretaker Secretary to Prime Minister said in order for the testing kits to be used a testing facility must first be established in the country.
“We need to established a testing facility in the country which means we need to get a least one equipment we currently don’t have, we are sourcing that.
“We are conducting an assessment if our laboratories and we are very confident we have one that is up to the standard, that is being assessed now by a specialist we should have feedback from WHO within the next 24 hours as to whether it meets the conditions,
“So what PRC is doing and what we are looking at is to kick start that frustrating matter so we can do the whole testing by ourselves.
“We feel really confident now than 24 hours ago that we have a facility that actually might be able to accommodate the testing, so we be can able to do testing locally.
“For technical expertise is we do have some people working here who know how to operate the machine. They know the general principles, they will be the ones that are going to operate it,” said Rodgers.