Officials in the Ministry of Finance and Treasury and the Office of the Prime Minister are now consolidating information to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package.
This is after a wide range of consultation with stakeholders including Development Partners recently.
Addressing the nation on Friday 3 April the Prime Minister also stated,
“While we are in the process of preparing and responding to the emergency phase of this pandemic, work has also been carried out with Financial Institutions, State-Owned Enterprises and private sector enterprises to cushion the negative impact that the current measures and restrictions will have on the economy and public livelihood.”
According to the Prime Minister, incentives to minimize or reduce costs for essential services and provide financial stimulus are progressively being implemented.
“The government will continue to keep the public informed on the roll out of these measures,” he stated.
Prime Minister Sogavare also encourages the nation to continue to be vigilant and preparedness must be practical.
“That said, our preparedness too must be practical. The Government has already worked on our preparedness plans, as a way forward should there be a lock down within the emergency zone between Alligator Creek and Poha River, to isolate any potential spread of the coronavirus if we happen to get a confirmed case.”
A simulated lockdown drill will be activated to test the response capacity of the Government in preparation for an actual lockdown scenario should it become necessary.
However, at this stage, there is no confirmed case and therefore there is no lock-down yet in the Solomon Islands.
“However, if an Order is made to lock down then it means movement within Honiara will be restricted and people will be prohibited from travelling between provinces and Honiara,” he said.
He said during a lock down, curfews will also be imposed if necessary, which will restrict the movement of people within Honiara as well.
“We must also continue to adhere to the advices and orders associated with the State of Public Emergency and to take them seriously,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Government is proposing a curfew over the Easter weekend. Further announcements will be made to confirm this and adequate notice will be given.