2 BOUGAINVILLEANS QUARANTINED AFTER ARREST

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Two Bougainvilleans have been quarantined at a makeshift site at Kulitanai Police post in the Shortland Islands following a swift police arrest on Wednesday this week.

The 40 year old man and his 19 year old cousin brother claimed they went on a fishing trip near Nunungari Island on the Solomon Islands side of the border when police intercepted their movement.

A police patrol escorted the men who were traveling in a 15HP powered outboard motor canoe to Kulitanai Police Post at around 10:30pm on Wednesday where officials from the Solomon Islands Medical Assistance Team (SOLMAT) immediately checked their health conditions to determine any symptoms of covid-19.

They were held overnight at Kulitanai where they were closely monitored by Officials as a requirement under the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on Thursday while communication have been made to the Covid-19 Oversight Committee in Honiara for advise on further action.

Kulitanai Police Post is unsuitable for institutional quarantining of COVID-19 suspected persons or any entries from infected countries. However, Police and SOLMAT Officers have been able to quarantine the two men using all available Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) during the operation.

Bougainville has so far recorded 1 positive case of covid-19 early this month. The suspect has escaped quarantine and is still at large causing greater risk to Bougainvilleans in Central and Southern parts of the Island.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare earlier this month has declared the borders of Shortlands, Choiseul and Malaita Outer Islands as emergency zones in response to the situation in Bougainville.

The two men have breached the current covid-19 State of Public Emergency regulation as well as the Solomon Islands Immigration Act.

Officials from the Western Border will take further actions on the two men upon advise from authorities in Honiara.

ENDS///

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