No backing out from 2023 Pacific Games
BY PETER ZOLEVEKE JNR
SOLOMON Islands will have enough time to prepare and get ready to host the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara despite the current concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Pacific Games Council (PGC) Chief Executive Officer Mr Andrew Minoque told SunSPORTS on Monday 16th March after meeting with the Sol2023 National Hosting Authority (NHA) members in Honiara Friday last week.
Following last week’s meeting the CEO assured the national government that there will still be enough time to prepare for 2023, despite the CONVID-19 outbreak pandemic.
Mr Minogue also confirmed to SunSPORTS that a Games Organizing Committee (GOC) for the 2023 Pacific Games will also be set up in the coming months.
“NHA board met with me on Friday 13th. It was a very productive meeting and it cleared the way for the formation of the games organizing committee to be established over the next few months,” Mr. Minogue said.
While work on forming the committee is on progress, progress on the constructions of facilities for the games, on the other hand, is likely to be delayed with most countries around the world imposing international travel bans to “infected countries”.
His Excellency, Chinese Counselor, Yao Ming from the PRC Government despite the coronavirus pandemic reassured that the Chinese government is fully committed to seeing this project materialized.
Mr. Minogue admitted that preparations especially for the funded Chinese Government facilities planning and construction phase will be slightly delayed due to the pandemic however adds it will eventually slow down before 2023.
“COVID-19 will undoubtedly slow things down, but at this point there is time to manage those things,” Minogue said.
Meanwhile the Solomon Islands government has announced that they will be taking all necessary and proactive measures to deal with the possible entry and potential spread of the virus in the country.
Some of the measures already taken by the government include imposing travel restrictions such as denying entry to travelers coming from an “infected country”, quarantine of travelers who arrived within the 14 day prior to being in any of the “infected countries”.
Apart from funding for the 2023 Pacific Games, China has also been providing the Solomon Islands Government with scientific and medical information on the virus.