$20m to fight virus - Solomon Star News

$20m to fight virus

07 February 2020
PS Pauline McNeil. [Photo: Lachlan Eddie]

A BUDGETARY support of $20million has been set aside by the national government as part of its assistance towards preparatory plans to combat the deadly coronavirus in the country.

Permanent Secretary Paulin Boseto McNeil revealed this during a media press conference in Honiara on Wednesday.

She expressed the Ministry of Health and Medical Service’s (MHMS) gratitude towards the timely support.

“The ministry has submitted to Cabinet a paper last week and thankfully the Cabinet has endorsed an amount of $20million in support of the emergency preparedness and response,” she said.

McNeil said the support is dependent on how the scenario will take place. If it escalates then of course it will need a lot more budgetary support and resources.

“We have technical support and assistance from our partner agencies in the ministry in terms of human resource capacity, technical assistance and in terms of the financial assistance and resources,” she said.

She said Solomon Islands is one of the countries that is prone to disasters and that it allocates budget for that but not such emergency such as the recent outbreak if it enters the country.

“For such an emergency as big as what is happening now, we have not put aside in terms of our submissions  last year,” she said.

McNeil said the $20m funding assistance is from the government and will also be shared with other partner ministries in the work towards the Coronavirus preparedness and prevention strategies.