Foreign ship not welcome back in Western Province

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PREMIER of Western Province has warned foreign cargo vessel MV Vimaru Pearl and its agent, saying the ship is not welcome in the province.

MV Vimaru Pearl was on the news headlines earlier this month when one of its crew tested positive for COVID-19.

Speaking to Island Sun yesterday, David Gina said MV Vimaru and its crews will not enter Western Province after completing quarantine in Honiara.

“I want to inform the Agent of MV Vimaru Pearl that the ship is not welcomed in Western Province and I call on the Prime Minister with the Oversight Committee not to return that ship to my province,” Gina said.

“Again, I don’t want to see that ship in Western Province,” he added.

Gina said there will be no local stevedores allowed to work onboard the ship if the government ignores the call and allow the ship back to Western Province.

He said notice will be sent to all stevedore operators not to work onboard the ship.

“I call upon stevedore operators to refrain from boarding the ship as it is still unsafe and would expose you and your families to the virus.

“We must keep our people safe from the virus and that measures must be taken to safe ourselves and those around us,” Gina said.   

He stressed that his decision is based on the interest of keeping people of Western Province from the deadly virus.

“This is serious and I don’t want my people to be exposed,” Gina said.

He also said that COVID-19 process and procedure needs to be reviewed as the original virus has replicate into different variants.

“We saw it on TV, heard it on the radio and also read it on newspaper that there is Delta virus found to be more lethal.

“Our country has established legal procedure and process in respond to COVID-19 based on the original virus, now there are different viruses and the situation now shift along with the news variants – meaning our country needs to make amendments on the existing process and procedures,” Gina said.