Suidani: I do not have authority to impose lockdown

Premier of Malaita province Daniel Suidani
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MALAITA Premier, Daniel Suidani says he does not have authority to impose lockdown in his province despite calls for him to do so.

In a statement, Suidani said the Premier including himself has no legal authority to impose any lockdown as the power rests with the Prime Minister under the current state of emergency regulations.

The Premier’s statement also comes as Ongtong Java, part of the Malaita Outer Islands is under a national lockdown due to community transmission of covid-19 on Pelau Island.

This has resulted in calls and concerns raised by some quarters of the province questioning why the premier has not made any calls for lockdown amidst the revelation that COVID 19 has now reached community spreading status.

He said at the provincial level there is a committee set up to deal with this issue.

“The committee would from time to time provide updates to me as and when new information comes through,” the Premier said.

At this stage the premier would like to call on all Malaitans to listen to the advice of authorities who are responsible for dealing with COVID 19.

Avoid any unnecessary movements in our communities. Do not spread rumors and help our authorities when they call upon you to assist. Avoid large gatherings and visit your nearby medical facility when you think you may have been in contact with infected persons.

Source: Office of Premier, Malaita province