By EDDIE OSIFELO
GOVERNOR General Sir David Vunagi has reiterated measures stated by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to respond to the Wuhan coronavirus (covid-19).
Sir David highlighted these measures when he declared the State of Public Emergency in Honiara on Wednesday 25th March for citizens to follow orders of the government in the next seven days.
The following measures are:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap or alcohol-based hand rub;
- When you cough or sneeze, do it into your flexed elbow or use a tissue and dispose of the tissue immediately into a closed bin and wash your hands.
- Do not cough/sneeze into your hands;
- Clean your house, office or stores. Disinfect surfaces, tables or work desks;
- Avoid crowded spaces and practice social distancing of 1.5m apart from the other person;
- No handshakes;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
The Novel Coronavirus (covid-19) first emerged in China in 2019.
The spread of the Virus continued into 2020 and on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared covid-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (the PHEIC Declaration).
The PHEIC Declaration triggered the Solomon Islands Government to introduce Regulations under the Immigration Act 2012 known as the Immigration (Amendment) Regulation 2020 which was intended to restrict entry of persons into Solomon Islands.
Sir David said the spread of covid-19 was not contained and covid-19 continued to spread to other countries and this resulted in the increase of mortality rates caused by covid-19 worldwide.
In light of the uncontrolled global spread outlined above, WHO on March 11, 2020 declared covid-19 “a pandemic”.
Since that declaration, WHO has now confirmed 195 Countries have now contracted the infection including our close neighbours Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. In addition to the above, New Caledonia, French Polynesia (Tahiti) and Guam have also recorded confirmed cases of covid-19.
Currently, the statistics on covid-19 are 422,566 cases with 18,887 deaths worldwide.
A Coronavirus Oversight Committee (the OSC) was established by Cabinet and was responsible for the monitoring and providing advice to the Solomon Islands Government.
The OSC included amongst others, Permanent Secretaries from the Ministries of Health and Medical Services, Office of the Prime Minister & Cabinet and Ministry of Commerce, Immigration, Labour and Industries.