BY Esther Nuria
Parliament has Tuesday passed the State of Public Emergency Motion for a period of four months.
Following two days of debate, all Members of Parliament (MPs) have agreed to the terms and conditions in the motion.
His Excellency the Governor-General Sir David Vunagi on 25th March 2020 declared a State of Public Emergency in the Solomon Islands.
In his declaration he said; “Pursuant to Section 16, subsection 3, of the Constitution; and that Parliament approves that the State of Public Emergency shall continue until the expiration of a period of four months unless revoked by a resolution of Parliament pursuant to Section 16, subsection 6 of the Constitution.”
During the debate of the motion in Parliament Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare highlighted that there are three phases in the motion.
He said currently the country is under phase one.
Mr. Sogavare further announced that to test the country’s preparedness there will be a partial lockdown from this Friday to Sunday morning in which curfews will be imposed between 8pm to 5am in the morning.
“This will allow the government to test its response capacity and help identify challenges faced during the actual lockdown,” he said.
He explained phase two is the actual lockdown when any first case is tested positive.
“During this period a curfew will be implemented for 24 hours and only selective essential services will be allowed to operate with permissions during this phase.”
In phase two health personals will undertake contract taking quarantine or isolating all those who have come into contact with the COVID-19 virus.
“We have prevented any further entry of COVID-19 into the country and have succeeded isolating and preventing COVID-19 transmission in the community,” said the PM.
And with phase three the lockdown can be lifted but with partial lockdowns such as night curfews and closer of social public places may continue for 14 days.
The Leader of Opposition Group Mathew Wale in his debate thanked the Prime Minister for tabling the motion and to inform the nation about the government’s preparedness plan.
And after the passing of the motion yesterday, the Speaker of Parliament Sir Patterson Oti adjourned Parliament to meet on Monday 27th July 2020 at 9:30 am.
But Parliament can still resume should the Speaker requests it.