The Premier of Western Christian Mesepitu says the Provincial Referral Hospital in Gizo now needs an ancillary pre-fab building next to it to cater to covid-19 patients, especially serious cases.
In a statement, Mesepitu said Covid-19 has finally landed and the national government has never thought of upgrading provincial centre medical facilities to counter the spread of the pandemic.
“Covid-19 is here to stay and we must learn to live with it in our communities, just like we did with malaria. Our people must never discriminate against covid-19 patients or carriers. We must care for one another and act responsibly. No one is immune to covid-19,” he said.
As Premier of Western Province: “I appeal to the national government to put up a pre-fab building next to the Gizo Hospital as a covid-19 referral centre fully funded by donor partner assistance.”
He said the Gizo covid-19 referral center should have up to 100 beds or more.
He adds the package must come with staff housing and logistics back up.
Mesepitu further states: “I also appeal for pre-fab type buildings for the Noro industrial township. The Noro covid-19 referral centre should have at least 100 beds. Noro is a very important industrial town of Western Province and the nation because it hosts the tuna industry cannery.”
He said the health of cannery workers, fishing fleet and staff of NFD and Soltuna is a priority matter for the Provincial Government because the majority of workers are citizens of the province.
The Provincial Government also values other commercial and business undertakings in Noro that have attracted workers and surplus population in the township. These are the major contributors to the national economy after the collapse of the national capital economy due to the November 2021 riots.
The Premier says the national government must discuss with deveopment partners to help to contain covid-19 in the provinces.
“We must be realistic in our endeavors to contain covid-19 nation-wide. We need permanent government owned covid-19 containment centres with staff housing backup and logistics instead of rented quarantine areas. The government may not have the funds to keep renting private premises on the long run. We cannot predict how long covid-19 will remain in Solomon Islands.”
- Press Release