With Solomon Islands students studying in the Philippines counting down to fly home, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare today reveals that the September 15 and 18 dates for the flights are not final and can be changed.
Speaking in his weekly nation wide address this afternoon, Sogavare said: “As you might have been informed already, the next two repatriation flights will be from Manila, Philippines. They are scheduled for 15th and 18th September 2020. However, as you, all know there are so many moving parts to planning an operation such as repatriation flights and as such, these dates are not final and can be changed.”
He said unlike China, which the risk level is in category 3, Philippines is in category 4 and more riskier.
However added Sogavare, as a responsible Government, it is “our obligation to repatriate our stranded students in the Philippines as keeping them there longer will increase their chances of contracting the virus. Therefore, despite the risks, we must bring our students home and we are expecting to repatriate well over 400 of our students.”
He said the Ministries of Education, Foreign Affairs and Health are coordinating the testing arrangements with the assistance from the World Health Organization for our students.
“We will continue to keep our people informed of these two repatriation flights,” he said.
The students have expressed their frustration on the delay by the government to bring them home. Their parents have also been pressurizing the government to ensure that they are repatriated back home.