The ship arriving in Noro last week has already created fear among the residents and some employees at Noro port have reported the matter to Premier Gina, saying they fear for their safety.
It is alleged that the crew on board the ship may have gone through pre-corona routine quarantine and custom checks as it is normally done prior to the global pandemic.
It is said that normal routine did not require state of emergency procedures where by a ship had to undergo 14 day COVID-19 quarantine at sea before entering into harbour.
Whilst he was told that the ship’s entry was allowed access by a COVID 19 OVERSEER Committee in Honiara, the emergency orders as declared by the Governor General and later pronounced by the Prime Minister may have not been complied with.
Upon hearing of reported allegations Premier Gina said that the entire ship’s company on board the Maersk Container Liner-Contship-Way and any other must undergo a 14-day check in complying with new rules and measures introduced under the coronavirus campaign on zero tolerance.”
“They must not escape, they must be held accountable for entering Noro Port without permission under COVID 19 regulations.”
Western Province Government (WPG) Media Communications personnel Brian Beti confirmed upon inquiry that Premier Gina has ordered a full investigation be undertaken that by which police must lead.
He said this was a concern that the public in Noro has raised to him following the arrival of the shipping Container liner, the Conship – Way and says this is an avenue going forward.
“These are not normal times so at least every authority must exercise restraint and also common sense to be not seen as very greedy at the expense of people in employment whose lives will be compromised at the port there in Noro,” stated the Gina.
Concerns over the exposed shipping route has been raised in the past week over another ship berthed outside of Honiara but made a call into Noro port reportedly to load logs before exiting national waters.
“Everyone knows that a coronavirus can only get in to the country from overseas and Noro port should be closed.”
Since then the premier’s office has been receiving numerous reports and calls from senior employees at Noro who also expressed disappointment upon seeing the ship’s arrival this week.
Maersk is a shipping liner that tranships fish loins from Noro in refrigerated containers for export.
By TERENCE ZIRU