OPPOSITION Leader Hon Matthew Wale has slammed media reports that the government has turned around the community transmission within 5 weeks as ‘misleading and outrageous’.
Hon Wale said it is insensitive and ignorant of the government to say that they have controlled the community transmission within 5 weeks and that no country in the world has done it.
“Where is the data, epidemiological report or a diseases surveillance report to justify these absurd claims? Stop misleading the people,” he said.
The Opposition Leader was responding to media reports from the OPMC press conference on Thursday.
“It is sickening to hear this coming out from the OPMC claiming that the government has reversed the community transmission within 5 weeks and no country in the world has than that. It is laughable and shameful to even boast that their response plans had been successful when they know very well that their responses lacked coherence and were marked by panic reactions that failed miserably,” he said.
The Opposition Leader said the fact that the community transmission in Honiara has seemingly shown a decrease is because of certain factors.
Firstly, he said from a public health standpoint, it is to be expected that there will be a drop in in cases after the most vulnerable population had been affected, which seems to be the case in Honiara and some provinces.
Secondly, Hon Wale said another fact is that our country’s testing rates are below WHO recommendations.
Therefore, he said we are simply not testing enough, and therefore the government has no idea of the true extent of infections throughout the country at any given point in time.
He said the claims from the OPMC also contradict the admission by the health minister of under-testing and lack of knowledge of the true extent of infections.
“How insensitive and ignorant of them to even say there response plan is successful when the virus is now spreading uncontrollably in the provinces. If they claimed victory over the virus in Honiara then why is the plan not working for the provinces? Stop misinforming the people,” Hon Wale said.
Hon Wale said we should also be grateful for the support given by donors, especially Australia, in getting critical resources directly to the provinces; something the government was unwilling to do.
“These supplies have helped to ensure that frontliners were protected from being infected,” he said.
Hon Wale said this is no time for boasting, and the government must double their focus and efforts in the fight against covid-19.
“Premature government boasting is sending a wrong message that the virus is under control and that people do not need to take seriously safety protocols. It is counter-productive,” he said.
The Opposition Leader said it is shocking that the OPMC is trying to claim political victory over the virus when it is spreading like wildfire in the provinces and government responses have been chaotic.