BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
THE Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) says it has plans in place for persons with mental illness during a lockdown.
MHMS Covid-19 Incident Controller, Nemia Bainivalu says in the event of a lockdown they “catch” persons with mental illness who roam the streets of Honiara and place them in the mental health facility at the national referral hospital (NRH).
For those they cannot “catch”, MHMS refers their cases to the police “to deal with them”, says Bainivalu.
Bainivalu was responding to questions asked on whether or not the Ministry have plans to look at mentally ill people during a lockdown exercise and during a real lockdown in response to any covid-19 community transmission here.
He said they have plans and during the 36-hour lockdown; they have a facility provided for them and those ones where they manage to get them, they keep at the facility at the National Referral Hospital.
“We actually took some out of the streets and place them at the facility, but others we cannot catch them because they are moving from place to place very fast, and we have arranged with the police to deal with them,” Bainivalu said.
Bainivalu also said they have arranged with the Correctional Services to place the mentally ill at the facility CSSI uses to admit inmates in.
During the previous three lockdowns, persons with mental illness were reportedly allowed to roam the streets of Honiara.
Several social media posts have images taken of few freely roaming around in various locations in Honiara.