21 May 2020

Solomon Islands PM calls on public to take lockdown seriously

8:45 am on 21 May 2020

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister has called on the public to take a 36 hour lockdown of the capital seriously.

Manasseh Sogavare was speaking before the restriction came into force last night.

The Prime Minister advised everyone to prepare adequate food and water to cover the lockdown period as well as medications.

Mr Sogavare also reminded people to make sure they had adequate supplies of power, telephone credit and other essential household supplies.

He appealed to Honiara residents to remain at home throughout the lockdown.

Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare

Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare Photo: SIG News Service

Earlier Mr Sogavare had said the lockdown was to test the country's capability for any possible Covid-19 case.

The Solomons has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The lockdown, which follows one held over Easter, will finish at 6am on Friday.

Police have launched a major operation to enforce the lockdown in the declared Emergency Zone from Poha to Alligator Creek and have warned people breaching conditions that they face arrest.

More than the 100 officers have set up nine police checkpoints across the zone.

Police say the lockdown is not an exercise as an Order has been issued making it law.

They say anyone arrested for breaking the Order could be fined a maximum of $US1200 or five years imprisonment or both.