Wale cautions gov’t on delta preparedness
The Leader of Opposition, Hon. Matthew Wale, has cautioned the government to tread very carefully and adopt a zero risk approach in its preparedness for further repatriation flights that are likely to introduce the delta variant into Solomon Islands.
Hon. Wale made this call in response to the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday this week that the government has assessed the safety and preparedness of our quarantine stations to contain delta within the perimeters of the quarantine stations.
The Opposition Leader however, said the ideal situation is that delta is not allowed into the country at all.
“If that is the ideal then it is important that SOPs are framed towards achieving it. From experience so far, early tests can be misleading in that some cases can return negative test results even when they are infected. At the very least, it is important that the Prime Minister clearly explains to the nation what additional preparations have been made that gives him the confidence that delta can be contained within quarantine stations if it is imported,” said Hon. Wale.
The Opposition Leader further calls on the government to be wary of the ‘lambda variant’ now making headway in South America and in at least 120 countries, adding that this is reported to be also highly transmissible and may be resistant to vaccines.
If this is true, Hon. Wale said it is therefore important that the government regularly conducts risk analysis to ensure that there is zero risk in importing this variant.
The Opposition Leader said it is also important that the government develop the capacity locally to do genome sequencing to identify the types of variants, as this will have a direct impact on the type and severity of responses.