BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his ‘Nationwide’ address this week said it is sad that most of the country’s positive Covid-19 cases resulted from dishonesty by its own citizens.
As a result of the behaviour of few citizens that opened the country to this unprecedented increase in numbers of Covid-19 cases, Mr Sogavare said his government will hold these people responsible for endangering the country.
At the same time, the Prime Minister said the government is tightening up the pre-departure assessment form making it a ‘prescribed form’, meaning anyone who lies on the form will be prosecuted after their release from quarantine stations.
“Fellow citizens, it is sad that most of the positive cases resulted from dishonesty by our own citizens. They lied in their pre-departure assessment forms,” said Sogavare.
“As a result of the behaviour of few of our citizens that opened our country to this unprecedented increase in numbers of COVID-19 cases, my government will hold these people responsible for endangering our people and our country.
“At the same time, the government is tightening up the pre-departure assessment form making it a ‘prescribed form’. This simply means that anyone who lies on the form, will be prosecuted after their release from quarantine stations. This Government has tried its best in good faith to bring our people back home but our very own people have not returned this good faith.
“Fellow citizens, as I stated before, COVID-19 is not a game. Unfortunately, many of our returning soccer players and some of our returning students from Philippines seem not to realize the gravity of the situation.
“By their dishonest actions, they knowingly endangered our citizens and our country. Their selfish actions had increased the cost of our fight against Covid-19 substantially. It has also delayed the repatriation of the many deserving citizens that are still waiting to return home. This is extremely disappointing”
According to the Prime Minister, contact tracing of the positive cases and their assessments have been completed.
“I would like to reassure all our good people that your Government remains committed to implementing appropriate and strict measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into our communities,” said Sogavare.
The Prime Minister officially announced on Monday that Solomon Islands at present has recorded a further ‘three’ positive Covid-19 cases.