Why silent?

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Coronavirus. Photo by Medical News Today
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Health authorities refused to reveal number of people quarantined over coronavirus, until social media did

BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO AND BARNABAS MANEBONA

RESPONSBILE authorities dealing with coronavirus (COVID-19) had earlier refused to announce that a certain number of people had been placed under quarantine, it is reported.

However, thanks to social media, we now know that 16 people are being quarantined.

Why health authorities refused to reveal this interesting piece of information to public is anybody’s guess because they further declined to comment when contacted by the paper yesterday for comment.

Sympathetic members of public have brushed the health ministry’s silence aside, suggesting that “maybe MHMS does not want to cause unnecessary panic”.

But, others have not been so forgiving, reminding the ministry of health that this is a crucial time where public are anxious to know what ever is available to be known “with regards to the status of the country on coronavirus”.

From report, 16 people are quarantined at different locations in Honiara as they have been to restricted countries or countries that have confirmed coronavirus cases.

Out of the 16 quarantined people, nine are being monitored at a quarantine site near Henderson known as VIMO, and seven others are home quarantined. They are being checked daily and are well monitored.

For clarification, MHMS through its Communications Unit clarifies on misleading understanding that the quarantine process currently is on ‘healthy people’ and not people being infected with COVID-19. Because these people travelled through countries where COVID-19 is reported is why they are being monitored at the quarantine sites.

“Just for clarity, there are no suspected cases to date. Quarantine is for healthy people and it is because we have a procedure to follow, this has to be done by our government.

“Isolation is for suspected cases, however there are no suspected case so far. Please let the public know. Quarantine is a site where healthy people who travel through affected countries are monitored,” said MHMS.

Meanwhile, the numbers of seven (7) passengers who had been turned back and denied entry into the country by Immigration Officers  because of travelling through countries where coronavirus-19 (COVID) are being reported remain the same.

This is according to the Immigration Division under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration yesterday.

On the list received from the Immigration Division, the nationalities of the seven passengers denied entry were from Kenya, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, USA, and Germany.

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