Hon Peter Kenilorea Jr, the Member of Parliament for East Are Are, has questioned the purpose of the “mock lockdown” this week in Honiara. In a statement to the media, Kenilorea questioned the government’s overall plan for corona virus management and control.
“In our region, there are successful examples of control of coronavirus through social distancing and testing. Social distancing and testing have led to steady reduction in corona virus in NZ, Australia and Fiji. All of these countries have used clear and consistent public information to ensure that people do not congregate and mix in large numbers. This has reduced the coronavirus in all these countries to almost zero. But in Solomon Islands there has been no public information, no clear and consistent messaging on the national strategy.”
Hon. Kenilorea added, that the use of levels which indicates the various levels of restrictions that are tied to certain occurrences will need to be developed. He asked, ‘What level of Covid-19 threat are we simulating with the lockdown? It’s important for the education and awareness of the public to link such measures with a threat level of sorts’.
Kenilorea pointed out that there are zero COVID cases in the country and there appears to be no reason for a “mock lockdown”. He called for the government to better explain its strategy for controlling the corona virus so that people know what the purpose of the mock lockdown is.
He also called on the government to explain how quarantine will be carried out for incoming Solomon Islanders and how testing will be carried out as well.
“Firstly it should be clear that those who will be traveling into the country soon are Solomon Islanders. Without all these detailed explanations, it is easy to assume that the lockdown is just an attempt to control people with no clear purpose under the coronavirus state of emergency.
“This State of Emergency is for fighting of coronavirus, and the constitution requires actions to be “reasonably justifiable”, for the purpose of fighting coronavirus.
“Public and leaders need to know: how is the lockdown supposed to help fight coronavirus?”