THE Honiara Emergency Zone will go into another four day lockdown beginning 6pm tomorrow (Tuesday 25th January).
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his address on the COVID-19 situation in the country this afternoon (Monday 24th January) said although the original outbreak of COVID-19 in the country started from Ontong Java, Honiara is now the epicentre of the COVID-19 epidemic in the country.
“This simply means COVID-19 is now exported to provinces from Honiara through ships that sail from Honiara to provinces.
“Passengers and cargo vessels going out from Honiara are transporting COVID-19 to our provinces,” Mr Sogavare said.
Therefore, he said in order to stop the rate of transmission of COVID-19 within Honiara and to also stop the export of COVID-19 to other provinces, the Oversight Committee has recommended a longer lockdown of the Honiara Emergency Zone.
The new lockdown period is from 6pm Tuesday 25th January 2022 to 6pm Saturday 29th January 2022.
The Prime Minister said this four day lockdown will be reviewed before the expiry of the lockdown period.
“The lockdown period will be reviewed before the expiry of the four days to decide if it should be extended further,” he said.
During the lockdown, Mr Sogavare said “no persons, vessels including outboard motors and aircraft will leave Honiara to go to provinces and no person, vessels including outboard motors and aircraft will come to Honiara from provinces”.
However, he said special exemptions will be given to high priority cargo flights and personnel entering from overseas to assist the country.
“Lockdown usual follow the incubation cycle of the virus which is 14 days.
“A one cycle lockdown is 14 days and the reason for the 14 days is that if we reduce people movement over one COVID-19 cycle of 14 days we would have eliminated much of the COVID-19 that already carried by infected people which will reduce transmission.
“If we do a lockdown for two COVID-19 cycles which is 28 days we have much better chance of eliminating transmission as most of the active cases of COVID-19 in the lockdown area would have been eliminated,” he said.
He then urged all residents living in the Honiara Emergency Zone to respect the lockdown period.
“…stay home during these times so that we can reduce the transmission of the virus and contain and control the current epidemic of COVID-19 in the country
“I ask the SI Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the business houses to assist the government in implementing this lockdown so that we can reduce transmission and contain and control this epidemic.”
He added that the government through the Oversight Committee will try to provide some food as support to communities during the lockdown period to ensure people living in our communities can remain in their homes.