BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
IMPACT of any COVID-19 community transmission here will be far worse than what we’ve seen in Fiji, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says.
He was speaking during his COVID-19 national address on Monday.
“The impact of any community transmission in Solomon Islands will be worse than the situation in Fiji,” he pointed out.
“It will set the country back many years in development if we have community transmission of COVID-19 before we reach at least 90 percent vaccination coverage of our total eligible population,” Sogavare added, as he urges people to take the vaccines.
He said all the countries that have re-opened their borders have based their reopening dates to their vaccination coverage of more than 90 percent of their total eligible population.
“For instance, Fiji has scheduled the reopening of its borders on 1st November 2021.
“As of yesterday, Fiji has achieved 98 per cent coverage of its population for 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccines.
“This is 587,346 people from a total eligible population of 599,333 people – achieved in five months.
“Fiji has also achieved 66 percent coverage of its population for both doses of the vaccines.
“This is 395,560 people. Fiji is confident they will achieve the 90percnet full vaccination by 31st October 2021 to reopen on 1st November 2021,” Sogavare stated.
He said for the country to reopen its borders soon , we need to adopt a similar approach like Fiji.
Sogavare said Cabinet has directed the Oversight Committee to consult widely with the private sector, business houses and all stakeholders to propose the target date for the reopening of our borders.
“And to itemize the activities that must take place for to meet that target reopening date including achieving at least 90 percent of the total eligible population that must have been fully vaccinated with the two doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
“This is exactly what countries like Fiji are doing to ensure they can plan for the reopening of their borders ahead of time,” he said.