By EDDIE OSIFELO
PRIME Minster Manasseh Sogavare invites the Opposition and Independent Group to work together in unity and solidarity as the threat of coronavirus intensifies in the world.
As of yesterday, the COVID-19 cases worldwide edged towards the 18 million mark.
The number of confirmed deaths worldwide is now more than 680,000.
In the Pacific, Solomon Islands closest neighbour, Papua New Guinea has 110 confirmed cases, with 34 recovered and two deaths.
While Fiji has 27 confirmed cases, 19 recovered and one death.
Speaking during his nationwide address yesterday, PM Sogavare the country is still vulnerable to the pandemic and the last thing they need in times like this is petty politics.
“This country must be united in this fight against this common enemy.
“If there is a fight that needs to be fought together as a nation; it is this fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Furthermore, Parliament on Wednesday last week, has passed the motion to extend the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) for another four months as provided by the Constitution.
“I would like to acknowledge the overwhelming support from Members of Parliament from both sides of the House that have supported the motion.
“The show of support speaks volumes of who we are as leaders and that we are all concerned about the safety of our beloved country and people,” he said.
In the meantime, Sogavare is pleased to note that despite the challenges faced, the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs has aligned themselves in the COVID-19 preparedness and response plans.
The ministry is currently chairing a National Protection Committee, one of the six committees established under section 97 of the NDMP.
The purpose of the National Protection Committee is to prevent, reduce and alleviate human suffering resulting from natural disasters, trauma, crisis and abuse through the integration of protection in disaster management arrangements.
The National Protection Committee since July this year has undergone trainings with the support of UN Women, which also incorporated COVID-19 prepared plans, responses and incorporating COVID-19 standard operating procedures.
These trainings are conducted in Malaita province, Rennell/Bellona and Central provinces. Plans to extend these trainings to other provinces is also underway.
Furthermore, the National Protection Committee have supported the Camp Management with Children’s kits for repatriated families that have children. These are purposely to support the children with basic needs, educational and recreational indoor activities. These kits are supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF is also a member of the National Protection Committee.