Commander of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Forward Command Post (PFCP) at Kulitanai Police Station in the Shortland Islands, Western Province Inspector Wilken Miriki has welcomed the arrival of the second group of the Solomon Islands Medical Assistance Team (SOLMAT) at the western border on 16 May 2020.
SOLMAT has been tasked to conduct awareness in the communities in the Shortland Islands as part of the Solomon Islands Government preparations to prevent any coronavirus (COVID-19) cases coming through the common border with Papua New Guinea (PNG). PNG has already recorded positive cases of the COVID-19.
Officers of SOLMAT are based at the Nila Catholic Mission Station and called in the Kulitanai Police Station for a short briefing and how they will coordinate their awareness with officers of the RSIPF who have been deployed to enforce the Emergency Zone declared at Solomon Islands’ side of the common border with PNG.
Inspector Miriki says, “As the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is the leading agency in the fight against the COVID-19, we officers of the RSIPF are here to support SOLMAT in terms of security as the Team carries out its awareness program in the communities in the Shortland Islands.”
“We work together as a team to achieve our goal. There are challenges but we must assist each other while you do your job to educate our people in the Shortland Islands. We will be out there with you in the communities to ensure the environment is safe and secure for you to carry out your important task.”
Inspector Miriki informed members of SOLMAT: “Police officers are based at Kulitanai Harapa, Kariki and Mono. We are here to provide security by patrolling our common border between Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (SI-PNG) during the day and at night. It’s a challenging task but it’s something that has to be done.”
“The RSIPF, like any other law enforcement agency in the world has a key role to play in both supporting the implementation of public health measures to contain the outbreak and in preventing specific criminal activities arising from this context.”
Dr Tom Diko from the Emergency Department of the National Referral Hospital (NRH) and a member of the SOLMAT acknowledged the police for the brief conducted on how his Team will work together with officers of the RSIPF during the awareness program in the communities in the Shortland Islands.