MALAITA Provincial Government has decided to close down Auki Betel Nut and Clothing markets in the light of the COVID-19 situation in Auki, Malaita Province.
Speaking to Solomon Star Auki, Premier Daniel Suidani confirmed the closure of the Auki Betel Nut and Clothing markets.
Mr Suidani said the markets will close pending further notice.
Premier Suidani said vendors who depended heavily on the markets for income will be greatly affected, but it is important to note that the province is facing unusual times due to COVID-19 and the province must take steps to try to minimize community transmission.
He said the Betel Nut and Clothing markets are identified as a vulnerable place for COVID-19 community transmission.
The premier said selling of betel-nut along the streets is also discouraged.
He urged betel-nut vendors to respect and observe the province’s decision for the safety of all.
“The Betel Nut and Clothing markets will remain closed as long as COVID-19 is here in Auki,” Mr Suidani said.
He said any decision to reconsider the current decision to close the markets will come after a risk assessment is done.
The Malaita Premier also reiterated the need for the Malaita public to adhere to COVID-19 safety rules and listen out and follow advices issued by health authorities to limit and prevent COVID-19 community transmission.
The Betel Nut and Clothing markets have been closed since Tuesday this week.
By WILSON SAENI
Auki News Bureau