FORMER Prime Minister (PM) and Member of Parliament (MP) for Rendova Tetepare suggests all education institutions in Honiara should remain close for the year as part of protective measures against COVID-19.
Danny Philip highlighted this on Tuesday when contributing to the motion to approve the proclamation by the Governor-General to further extend the State of Public Emergency (SoPE) for four months.
The motion was passed with overwhelming support on Wednesday night after two days of debate.
In his contribution to the motion, Mr. Philip suggested a number of measures the government should take to protect the country from the COVID-19 threat.
He described COVID-19 as an unseen but deadly killer which has resulted in more deaths and causing more fear as the second wave hits.
He suggested that all international flights operated by national flag carrier Solomon Airlines should be grounded except for important flights to bring emergency medical equipment and to repatriate stranded nationals from overseas.
The former PM further suggested that all the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) patrol boats must not remain at Mbokona Patrol boat base.
“I want them to remain afloat the Solomon Islands-Papua New Guinea (PNG) border in the Shortlands, Western Province,” he said, adding this is to protect the border.
He also told parliament that the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) must remain close for the duration of this year.
“If further required all Honiara-based schools must also close for the rest of 2020,” he said.
He said the country cannot afford to let its guard down in this current situation.
“The measures we are taking now are matters of great importance.
“We are dealing with a matter of national security and a matter of life and death,” he said.
Its understood schools in Honiara are conducting their own mock drills in preparation for any possible lockdown should a positive COVID-19 case is confirmed.
Meanwhile, Solomon Airlines has announced that all international flights remain suspended until late October.