19 May 2020

MP questions wisdom of Solomons 'mock lockdown'

4:15 pm on 19 May 2020

A Solomon Islands opposition MP is questioning the purpose of a 36-hour lockdown this week.

Peter Kenilorea Junior (centre)

Peter Kenilorea Junior (centre) Photo: twitter / @kenilorea

East Are Are's Peter Kenilorea Junior asked what he called the "mock lockdown" would achieve in terms of preparing Solomon Islanders for Covid-19.

Mr Kenilorea questioned how the lockdown fitted with an overall prevention, management and control strategy.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the lockdown was to test the country's capability for any possible Covid-19 case.

However, Mr Kenilorea pointed to successful plans in other countries using staged levels of social distancing and testing measures.

He said these had been managed through clear and consistent communication strategies.

Mr Kenilorea called for the government to better explain its coronavirus strategy.

The East Are Are MP also said the government needed to communicate how it intended to isolate and quarantine Solomon Islanders returning home from overseas.

He said government actions under the Covid-19 State of Emergency needed to be "reasonably justifiable" to the country.

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Solomons PM, Manasseh Sogavare Photo: RNZI/ Koroi Hawkins