BY PETER ZOLEVEKE JNR
THE Solomon Islands Government along with stakeholders are facing uncertainty as facilities preparation on the ground towards hosting of the 2023 Pacific Games has been delayed due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus), declared as global health emergency.
In a latest revelation by the government authorities yesterday during a joint press conference, traveling restrictions are now in force and will affect the technical part in regards to the facilities works.
Ministry of Health and Medical Service (MHMS) Permanent Secretary, Pauline McNeil depends entirely as the country is facing risks.
“For the Ministry as well as the government in the front line, the priorities are kind of refocused for now, but of course the core business of the government is to progress as well with the task ahead,” Mrs. McNeil said.
“This is an abnormal situation where the government is faced with. The current emergency that is ongoing has a lot of implication in terms of trade and economic – cross cutting issues regarding the facilities and services to be provided and the government will be ensuring cautious measures.
A second scoping team from the People Republic of China was supposed to be in the country on facility matters, this include the proposed national stadium.
However, discussions are done through China embassy in Papua New Guinea, and according to reports PRC are requesting travel access to begin the facility project.
Attorney General, John Muria Jr also reiterates that the government’s priority concern is the well-being of the people.
“In terms of the games there’s nothing yet as what the government can say regarding, but it is safe to say that safety and health of the citizens is the paramount concern of the government at the moment,” Mr. Muria adds.
“As you can see from the FOPA to take place in Hawaii has been cancelled, the decision was made because of the safety of people.
He added that whatever decision to be made down the track depends on the World Health Organization (WHO) declare the virus widespread, actions will be taken accordingly.
Numerous sporting events have also been either postponed or cancelled.
Meanwhile, a COVID-19 Operational Plan has been approved by the cabinet last week a step the government takes in its preparedness for the virus entry.