CHINA does not get preferential treatment, as people might like to think.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare highlighted this when delivering his nation-wide address this afternoon at the Office of the Prime Minister & Cabinet.
The Prime Minister said the decision to repatriate passengers from China and Philippines was taken after a thorough analysis of risks and benefits.
“I would like to make it clear that the same treatment is given to all our bilateral and multilateral partners who are needed in the country to advance our national projects and national interest,” he said.
The Prime Minister said in fact, other flights to repatriate citizens currently stranded in New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, USA and other European countries are also in the planning process.
He said these planned flights will also bring in key foreign personnel from our development partner missions to help finance major development projects in the country.
“The same arrangement will be done for engineers for TINA Hydro project, the International Airport and the Kukum Highway projects as well as other national projects,” the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said there are no exceptions to our pre-departure requirements as well as our post arrival quarantine and testing protocols.
The Prime Minister said all passengers regardless of their nationality or status must undergo strict testing and quarantine protocols prior to and upon arrival.
“According to our testing protocols, all passengers must undergo compulsory tests before boarding the flight. Anyone who is tested positive will not board the flight,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the Government has acknowledged that this challenging and unprecedented time requires Cabinet to make tough decisions for the betterment of the country.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sogavare in his nation-wide address said he is fully aware that some Government decisions might not go down well with some of our fellow citizens.
“But let me assure you all that all decisions are made after careful assessment and analysis based on evidence,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said as leaders of this country, they have been mandated by the people to serve in the best interest of our nation and its citizens.
“This is what we are continuing to do. The Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement’s overwhelming priority now is to safeguard our people and also continue to make sure that our economy remains afloat,” he said.
The Prime Minister also appealed to good citizens of the country to continue to work together with their Government through these unprecedented times.
“We must continue to remain vigilant, steadfast and united,” he said.