Ship may be arranged for Hon-Auki passengers

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CHAIRMAN of Malaita Provincial Disaster Operation Committee (PDOC) Charles Eddie Koto says they are working on permitting a passenger boat to serve Auki next week.

Koto, who is also the acting provincial police commander for Malaita, said PDOC has discussed the matter in their recent meeting and they will be liaising with responsible authorities in Honiara on it.

He explained that PDOC has come up with the initiative following the need to return a number of provincial frontliners who are in Honiara to join covid-19 operations in the province.

“Most of them were on their annual leave when the COVID outbreak happened, resulting in the ban on shipping to Malaita,” Koto said.

“There are also a number of front liners in the province who need to return to their work places in Honiara and other provinces,” he added.

Koto said PDOC will be liaising with responsible authorities in Honiara on the matter and if approval is granted, they hope to see a passenger boat travelling between Honiara and Auki ext week.

Koto said further updates on the matter will be made known, however if approval is granted only passengers who are recommended will board the boat.

He said although both Honiara and Auki have community transmissions, strict conditions must be put in place like passengers must tested negative before boarding the ship both ways.

Koto said PDOC in Auki continues to receive request for exemptions from individuals both in Auki and Honiara and even dead bodies in Honiara to Malaita.

He explained that only the oversight committee has the final say on that while PDOC will only endorse decisions that are being made.