Solomon Islands police are working with border communities to help prepare them for a potential Covid-19 outbreak.
While the country has no confirmed cases of Covid, the virus has now reached the neighbouring Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville.
A Joint Border Operation Team has been holding discussions about the Covid threat with chiefs in Solomons' Western Province near the PNG border.
The Team's Inspector Kerry Sireheti said that for months people had been adhering to the border closure under public emergency provisions introduced to prevent the virus reaching the country.
But he said efforts to secure the border were increasing, and recent meetings with chiefs in the Shortland Islands were aimed at helping them prepare for health security too.
"I try to integrate them into the system so it's going to be everybody's responsibility to actually look after the security aspect of the community, as well as adhere to the Covid-19 regulations as per the State of Emergency which governs the border at this point in time.
"It's a kind of strategy to actually collaborate with the communities, because we know in our culture you cannot bypass the chiefs, the chiefly systems," Inspector Sireheti explained.
"You have to work with them because they command the people. It is not us that command the people.
"It gives us the opportunity to concentrate more on the border, if we integrate them so that they can be able to manage the people back in the villages."
So far cross-border movement has been mostly well contained by the Solomons. But securing the border in a maritime nation continues to be a big challenge as police have a huge area of operations to monitor.
Inspector Sireheti said securing a border was a joint responsibility with neighbouring countries, but noted that border surveillance efforts in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville remained under-resourced.
"As far as I'm concerned, diplomatically, Solomon Islands is actually on top of the security management of the border to ensure that the border is safe from people illegally crossing over.
"But when we look at the AROB (Autonomous Region of Bougainville) we didn't see much that is happening at the border. The sad thing is we don't see the support that required from them by their central government."