BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare is impressed with the efforts invested on COVID-19 facilities at the National Referral Hospital (NRH), to prevent the virus entering the country.
PM Sogavare expressed this sentiment on Monday 20th April during his visit to the National Referral Hospital (NRH) COVID-19 facilities.
“I am impressed by the ongoing briefings that I have been receiving from the Ministry of Health about the work that is being done to combat COVID-19.
“With the COVID-19 facility site visitation today (Monday 20th April) I am equally impressed when all the efforts invested in our preparedness but of course we are not yet there.
“We saw, we listen, we learn the gaps and of course when we go back, we learn something in terms of resources when it comes to government operation in fighting COVID-19,” he said.
Sogavare said he has his full confidence in the Minister for Health and Medical Services (MHMS) Dickson Mua and his Permanent Secretary, the senior executive officers and National Health Emergency Operation (NHEOC) officers, doctors, nurses and all the staffs who are managing the governments responds to public health emergency.
“You are our first and last line of defense and my deepest respect to you all. You have been working very hard since day one with the support of our development partners to prepare for and respond to this public health crisis which have impacted the world,” he said.
Sogavare said COVID-19 provides the country with an opportunity for forward thinking and forward looking in terms of the health systems of this country.
“We know that our health system is not good as it needs improvement to better cope with the impact of COVID-19 by ensuring our health system is a better place to deal with emerging public health crisis in the future.
“With this, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to the people of Solomon Islands to remain calm at this very difficult time,” he said.
Sogavare said the virus is not here yet but the government is focusing its effort to the MHMS and its partner ministries to prevent the entry of the virus into the country and to do their best to prepare and deal with the virus if it does reach the provinces as fast they can .
“Our priority of course is to protect this country from the intrusion of this COVID-19,” he said.
Minister for Health Dickson Mua acknowledges the government for the ongoing support in ensuring Solomon Islands is a COVID-19 free country.
“It is worth noting that on the positive side, what the COVID19 incident brings to Solomon Islands, is to allow people to reflect on what we are currently doing , where we are and where we are heading and what changes we need to do, to meet the challenges going forward and to reposition the MHMS and government to redirect its national priorities,” Mr. Mua said.