COVID has huge impact on nation


THE impact of the global covid 19 pandemic in 2019 has affected the Solomon Islands economy and exacerbates unemployment and social issues.

Governor General Sir David Vunagi confirmed this, when he delivered his New Year’s message to the nation, on the 1st of January 2023.

He said during the last two years, the global community was drastically affected by the effects of pandemic Covid 19.

Sir David said in Solomon Islands, the community transmission of the virus created anxiety, fear, uncertainty and depression.

“To prevent the spread of the covid 19 virus, health protocols were instituted, wearing of face masks, washing hands with soaps and water, social distancing, lock down of borders, restrictions of movements, closures of schools, churches, offices, hotels and so on.

“Still, many people contracting the virus and some died. May their soul rest in peace,” he said.

Furthermore, Sir David said as the dust settles, the impact of covid 19 becomes more visible in the social and productive sectors.

He said the health protocols triggered the downward flow of the economy.

“Cash flow slows down the completion of the developmental projects.

“Inflation increases to 8.5 percent, pushing the prices of goods in the shops and markets to a level ordinary citizens struggle to put food on their tables,” he said.

Further to that, Sir David said people have also cut back on spendings because the room for spending has been greatly minimized.

He said even operators’ business entrepreneurs have struggled to provide reliable services and transport providers have been challenged to increase fares and in order to remain operational.

Moreover, Sir David said boarding schools argued to increase fees to a level that both parents and students struggle to meet.

He said even clinics and provincial centres lack accommodations and other basic facilities to cater for the needs of nurses.

Sir David said short supplies of basic drugs like panadols, bandages and plasters also continued to be unending issues for health institutions to provide equitable services to the general public.

Furthermore, he said employment in both the public service and private sectors have been saturated, that said university graduates and school levers find themselves on the deep end of the stick in trying to secure employments.

Sir David said a generalization has been made as unemployment increases, so are anti-social issues.

“Many organisations both churches based and Non-Government Organisations strive to address these social issues but lacking resources, so they end up addressing the symptoms other than the cause,” he said.

Sir David said the main cause is unemployment that causes stress, trauma, that leads to domestic violence and other anti-social behaviors.

He said unemployment is a central issue that needs to be addressed if self-reliance and economic independence is to achieve by all.

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