THE much-awaited second repatriation flight to airlift our stranded students in Manila, Philippines is all set for tomorrow, 24th of November.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) Collin Beck confirmed this during the weekly talk-back show on Sunday.
Mr. Beck said selected people for the flight have already been identified after successfully comply with the repatriation regulations and should be ready for the flight.
“I would like to advise students or those who are listed for the flight to ready to board the flight,” he said.
Another 40 students will travel from Manila to Honiara via Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on December 11th, 2020 where they will transit and catch a connecting flight which will bring back local students and nationals studying and working in Papua New Guinea on December 12th.
Mr. Beck said the third flight to bring our students from Manila is scheduled for the 28th of December.
Mr. Beck then urged everyone to get prepared for those dates by complying with the necessary and appropriate tests and must meet the requirement before the dates.
This paper understands the flight will take the same route as it did previously by stopping at Biak in Indonesia for a refuel on its way to Manila and on its return from Manila.
Secretary to Prime Minister Jimmy Rodgers said despite all the flights that have been scheduled for this month including December, it also depends on the availability of beds at the quarantine stations and the number of COVID-19 positive cases recorded during the course of the repatriation.
“So the dates we are providing is on the basis when we are confident we will no longer have any positive COVID-19 cases but if changes happened and we record more cases then those dates will have to be extended,” he said.
He said those coming from high rated risk countries will be quarantined for 21 days.
Meanwhile, in his earlier address, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the flight will bring around 144 students from the Philippines.
Sogavare said Cabinet has been assured by the Oversight Committee that our students waiting in Manila are in hotel quarantine which should reduce the COVID-19 risk status.