PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the 36 hour trial lock down is to test our preparedness to respond to the imminent threat of the COVID-19 Delta Variant.
The Prime Minister said the 36-hour ‘trial lock-down’ at the Honiara Emergency Zone will be from 6pm on Sunday 29 August to 6am on Tuesday 31 August 2021.
The Honiara emergency zone is from Alligator Creek in the East to Poha in the West of Honiara.
He said the country’s current ‘preparedness and response plans, our quarantine accommodation planning, and our standard operating procedures [SOPs]’ were all prepared for the much less aggressive variants of COVID-19.
“They are no longer appropriate for the Delta variant,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said we have seen from the speed of the Delta variant transmission in Fiji, in Australia and now in New Zealand that if the delta variant evades our pre-departure protocols, if it breaches our quarantine facilities and get into our communities, it will have devastating consequences for our communities, especially those who are not vaccinated.
The Prime Minister said the Oversight Committee has reviewed our preparedness and response plan, it has assessed and improved our quarantine accommodation facilities, and it has reviewed our respective SOPs to ensure they can all address the Delta variant of COVID-19.
“We now need to test these updated plans and procedures by implementing the trial lockdown so that we can fine-tune any gaps and shortcomings to ensure all our systems, processes, coordination, and operational arrangements are tried and tested to respond to any incursion by the Delta variant in Solomon Islands,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the full details of the preparedness and response plan and the lockdown plan will be further deliberated on by Cabinet later this week.
Prime Minister Sogavare urged the public within the Honiara emergency zone to cooperate with our frontline agencies during the trial lock down period.
“Please stay home between 6pm on Sunday 29 August and 6 am Tuesday 31st August 2021,” he said.
The Prime Minister adds although the lockdown is a simulation, any breach of its protocols will result in severe consequences.
He said details of the lock-down will be disseminated across all media platforms throughout this week.