By EDDIE OSIFELO
Minister of Health and Medical Service, Dr Culwick Togamana has defended the intervention force of Australia and Papua New Guinea who arrived last Thursday to help restore law and order in Honiara following the peaceful protest that turned violent against Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
Former Prime Minister Rick Hou has questioned the government in Parliament yesterday whether the intervention force personnel have gone through covid-19 protocols as they were seen on the streets upon arrival.
However, Togamana said he has been thoroughly briefed that all the personnel coming are fully vaccinated and tested before they came in the country.
He said they were tested negative.
“Tests done at medical lab, and all negative and I am pleased for personels arrive in the country.
“The Standard Operation Procedures are strictly followed especially for defence force, they must put on their masks and live separately,” he said.
In addition, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said they required to be double vaccinated, and some go for triple vaccination.
“They have to have negative PCR test before boarding plane, all observed them.
“Then within 48 hours they have tests, then they test every two days on rapid anti-gen testing and must wear masks and limited contact,” he said.
Australia has sent about 100 Defence Force personels following request from Sogavare to quell the protests and riot.
This was based on the bilateral security treaty signed by Australia and the Solomon Islands in Canberra in 2017.
The bilateral security treaty that allows Australian police, defence and associated civilian personnel to be deployed rapidly to the Solomon Islands in the event of an emergency.
While PNG sent 37 Police personnel under a Police-to-Police arrangement to assist in the country’s civil unrest.