Economy can improve if borders are reopened: PM

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PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the country’s economy could really be boosted if our borders are reopened.

However, he said our borders could only be reopened if the majority of people in the country are protected against COVID-19.

“The majority of people will only be protected if they are vaccinated,” Prime Minister Sogavare said in his nationwide address on Monday this week.

He said our goal is to achieve 100 percent coverage of our population above 18 years of age pending the WHO decision on those under 18 years of age.

Sogavare added if the majority are vaccinated, there is a chance that herd immunity will be established which will then provide some protection to those that cannot yet be vaccinated.

“I call on all of us to continue that same spirit of unity as we start the COVID-19 vaccination rollout program. Our ultimate success against COVID-19 is in our hands.

“I call on all citizens and residents in our country that are 18 years and older to be vaccinated when your time comes,” he said.

Prime Minister Sogavare said logistically, this could be a challenge.  

However, he said with God on our side, there are no challenges too great, especially if we face them together.

“My good people of Solomon Islands, we have made tremendous progress in our fight against COVID-19 over the past week and a half.

“We became the second Island country in the southern Pacific to receive and roll-out the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said they have demonstrated their confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine with the Prime Minister, the Governor General, and Cabinet Ministers leading the way in taking the vaccine during the first two days of the vaccination rollout program.

“As a country, we have pulled together in our joint endeavor to protect our country from COVID-19.

“That is what makes Solomon Islands special. We unite against COVID-19,” he said.