Wale cautions gov’t over future repatriation plans

Leader of Opposition Hon. Mathew Wale. Picture Supplied
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Leader of Opposition Matthew Wale is cautioning government not to down play the recent mutation of the coronavirus into the delta variant; and to now take a zero-tolerance attitude towards keeping Solomon Islands covid-19 free in any plans to repatriate our citizens or visitors from abroad.

Further to his remarks in Parliament recently, Mr Wale said, “It is truly unfortunate that some of our students in Fiji are now infected with the virus and with its ravaging effect there, their families must be concerned.  These are truly hard and my heart goes out to the affected families.

“The recent mutation of the corona virus into the delta variant, now in Fiji only mean the government must step up a notch in our Covid-19 preparedness plans to prevent entry.”

He said recent overseas statistics clearly suggest; after one year the pandemic has gotten from bad to worse in most countries, adding that Fiji, regrettably is now one of the countries with confirmed cases of the delta variant strand which has a proven higher transmission rate and severe consequences. 

“The sudden increases in the number of infections and deaths are now taking their toll on Fiji’s health system and resources.

“The situations in both Fiji and PNG therefore must serve as a serious reminder that the fight against covid 19 is far from over and if anything; must now be taken right on our door steps,” the Opposition Leader said.

“This demands that our domestic efforts to prevent entry must be raised to the highest of standards which may require, imposing strict vaccination conditions and containment protocols for any person coming in from Fiji or any other red zones with this strand. Given our current situation, our people must now at the forefront of any decision making by the government.

“I therefore urge the government to make every effort necessary to inform our students and citizens overseas that it is in everyone’s interests that Solomon Islands is kept Covid-19 free, and any actions that may undermine this zero tolerance attitude should not be tolerated under any circumstance.

“I also encourage our students and citizens overseas looking to return home to give priority to the importance of protecting our people by doing their part in adhering to best medical advice on the importance of getting vaccinated,” said Wale.

The Opposition Leader also pointed out that the increased risk now brought about by the delta variant is giving more credence to my earlier call for the government to be proactive in its vaccination programme.

“There is no better defensive mechanism that having the majority of our people vaccinated,” Wale further added.