By ANDREW FANASIA
WHILST supporting the Prime Minister’s COVID-19 nationwide address on Monday Member of Parliament (MP) for East Are’are Peter Kenilorea Jr says that our main focus should be on our borders.
Kenilorea who is also the Chairman for Parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee joined the Prime Minister in thanking the country’s COVID-19 frontliners who have kept the country safe.
“I also thanked the PM and commend the Oversight Committee on their work that has kept us COVID-19 free,” he added.
Kenilorea who responded to PM’s nationwide address yesterday said that the country should focus on keeping Solomon Islands COVID-free and halt the virus at the borders.
“I have always said that our borders are our weakest link.
“We should focus there and put our resources there to support our frontliners to keep the virus at bay,” he stressed.
Kenilorea further stated that he is deeply concerned that the main objective of an extended State of Public Emergency (SoPE) as stated by PM in his address is now for our ‘national security.’
“COVID-19 is a public health emergency and the reasons for extending the SoPE are also very weak.
“Our quarantine, public health laws if currently inadequate should be strengthened to meet the policy objective which must still be ‘stop COVID-19 from entering Solomon Islands’ by halting it at our borders through a effective mix quarantine and testing of returning nationals and visitors,” Kenilorea said.
He further stressed that as a democratic country the exercise of executive powers must be continuously be sanctioned by parliament who represents the people.
He continues to point out that the country need to tighten surveillance at the borders and ensure that quarantine and testing are up to scratch.
Kenilorea said this will allow the country to operate as normal as possible allowing economic and social activities to be pursued with less disruption as possible.
“It is important to address these issues in our context and not be too taken with the global numbers and statistics.
“We should not allow these to dictate our own national responses,” Kenilorea said in response to the PM’s nationwide address.