13 Oct 2020

Early childhood centres closed under new Solomons Covid restrictions

4:34 pm on 13 October 2020

The Solomon Islands government has announced new emergency restrictions in response to confirmation on Sunday of a second case of Covid-19.

Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare. Photo: SIG news service

Both people who tested positive in the past week are students repatriated from the Philippines, both in managed quarantine.

They are asymptomatic but have been moved to the isolation ward at the national referral hospital for observation.

Solomon Islands' Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said he's confident Covid-19 can be kept out of the community.

He said he's been advised there is no need for a lock-down at this stage.

"I have confidence in our professionals and I have faith that they will rise to the occasion and safeguard our country," Manasseh Sogavare said.

"I am confident that we will contain and manage the situation with minimal disruption to our daily lives."

The new restrictions approved on Monday by cabinet include the closure of all early childhood centres and roadside markets and the limiting of passenger numbers on public transport.

Honiara rush hour

Photo: RNZ/ Koroi Hawkins

All public gatherings are discouraged but large meetings, church gatherings and sporting events can be held subject to Ministry of Health approval and the observation of Covid-19 safety measures.

Manasseh Sogavare also announced changes to international travel.

"The government is suspending repatriation flights temporarily, until further notice. However, cargo flights and outgoing passenger services are not affected. Special purpose flights and stopovers are also not affected," Manasseh Sogavare said.

The government is also strongly advising people in the provinces to avoid travelling to the capital Honiara unless it is absolutely necessary.