22 June 2020
Dr. Jimmy Rodgers.

Dr. Rodgers: why we should not suspend SOPE quickly


THE decision to suspend or extend the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) in the Solomon Islands will have to be made with careful consideration. 

Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. Jimmy Rodgers made the statement during the weekly talkback show yesterday over the national broadcaster.

Dr. Rodgers said there have been calls to suspend the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) but before a decision is made, thorough consideration must be made.

“Solomon Island still maintains its COVID-19 free status and must continue to remain so,” Dr. Rogers said.

He said in terms of COVID-19 global update, the virus has recently reached its highest ever transmission of 181,000 new cases recorded globally.

“Just on Saturday, a total of 150,000 new cases were recorded which means we must continue to remain alert and vigilant against the virus,” he said.

 Dr. Rodgers said that the SOPE was declared when the global rate of infection was still low and the continuous rise in infection requires thorough consideration. 

“We started off the SOPE when the global rate has not yet hit the 100,000 limits but now, we have already reached 180,000 and we need to think seriously about the potential impacts, particularly at this time when the SOPE has already released our businesses to start operating,” he said.

He said now all businesses are reopened including sports activities.

“Nothing has stopped working under the SOPE because it is managed in a way that we quarantined incoming people,” he said.

Dr. Rodgers said the establishment of the quarantine facilities and quarantining of incoming people is important because that is the only way to protect this country.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Pauline McNeil confirmed that a total of 391 tests have already been conducted at the molecular laboratory at the NRH and all of them were negative.