It's being reported that six persons are still unaccounted for but it is believed that the number may be up to a total of eight persons evading border security after crossing the marine border from Bougainville into Solomon Islands territory in the past week.
“Due to the lack of adequate facilities we have resorted to the acquisition of Gizo Hotel to facilitate the immediate need of the process,” a source told the paper.
Specific details on the apprehension of the two border crossers are yet to be officially reported to the public by police, but front liner and disaster authorities say the situation is under control.
“We ask the general public to be calm and assure them that we are doing our jobs.
“The persons placed into quarantine are not sick and have not shown signs of having been infected, but as regulated by law under the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) the process has to be done as mandated,” said a head of security authority.
An employee of Gizo Hotel has confirmed the use of its facility as a temporary quarantine site and said they have allocated a whole building block to disaster authorities as required.
“It is our understanding that our facilities will be needed for a whole month to accommodate the whole 28 days quarantine requirement.”
Authorities are giving a sturdy reminder that the SI/PNG border is closed as a national effort against the COVID-19 pandemic, and that border crossing has been outlawed by both Solomon Islands and Bougainville security authorities.
Government top officials responsible for the current situation have arrived in Gizo to deal with the matter.
By TERENCE ZIRU