Mentally ill patients roam freely during lockdown - Solomon Star News

Mentally ill patients roam freely during lockdown

22 May 2020
A mentally man walking the street during the COVID-19 Lockdown on Thursday.

NO law can stop the mentally ill patients who needed care walking the streets of Honiara during the 36-hour lockdown under the heavy presence of police force with severe penalties.

While Honiara is under 36-hour lockdown since Wednesday night, only the people who walked freely along the streets of Honiara yesterday are the unfortunate people living with mental disability.

These people which can be also termed as people with special needs were seen along the main Honiara city and some on the outskirts of the city.

A police officer who does not want to be named spoke to Solomon Star yesterday said this special need people are immune and they cannot be arrested.

“It’s very sad just when the whole city is in lockdown, we realised that we have a lot of mentally ill people living with us.

“I was very emotional seeing them walking the streets aimlessly,” the officer said.

He added that the heavy penalties of $10,000 and five years imprison will not be applied to them since there is no law that restricts their movement.

The officer therefore strongly urges the government and responsible authorities to address this issue with the support of the respective families of these mentally ill people before any possible lockdown in the near future.

“We do not know why they ended up this way but the government, responsible authorities, churches and responsible families should work together to address the issue in our city,” the officer added.

Meanwhile the city lockdown was imposed within the emergency zones from Poha to Alligator Creek as part of the government’s preparations in case of the COVID-19 outbreak within Honiara or in the country.