BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
THE Solomon Islands is grouped with the ‘high risk’ areas regarding the coronavirus and work has started to stop it reaching the country, health official says.
A senior official from the Health Ministry (MHMS) yesterday said this is because China is in the same region as Solomon Islands with a lot of people movement between the two countries.
He said the Health Department and the government had put in place control measures as recommendations were received from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The officer said the MHMS, SI Government, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Immigration had set up mechanisms to prevent it reaching the country.
He said Under the said Regulation, if any person, who has for 14 days prior to arriving in the Solomon Islands, been in a country where there is a confirmed case of Corona Virus, will not be allowed to enter the country and will be requested to board the return flight or be subject to detention or quarantine.
“A help desk has been set up at the Honiara International Airport for travellers and a flyer containing information on the coronavirus and a declaration form have been issued to all travellers.
“Based on declaration form, you may or may not go through a further screening process,” he said.
“Those without any symptoms but had been to the Wuhan Province of China in the past 10 to 14 days will be quarantined.
“Those who have symptoms will be monitored,” he said.
Solomon Islands has taken their travel restrictions a step further, announcing regulations restricting the entry of any person who has travelled to any countries with confirmed cases of coronavirus, which has now spread to 25 countries and regions —including Australia — with the UK and Russia confirming their first cases.
A statement released by the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet advised that anyone who had visited a country with a confirmed case in the past 14 days “will not be allowed to enter the country and will be requested to board the return flight or be subject to detention or quarantine”.
The statement said that in addition to members of the public, these restrictions also applied to Government officials and members of Parliament.
“The Government acknowledges the risks associated with the outbreak of diseases as a matter of National Security,” the statement said.