SOLOMON Islands Ports Authority’s (SIPA) has seen a slight decrease in export amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis while imports are still consistent for the last couple of months.
SIPA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eranda Kotelawala stated this, Wednesday.
He said that in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, port operations are not affected, meaning our normal business is going on smoothly at the moment.
But Kotelawala expressed that SIPA has taken strict measures to safeguard its employees and their customers.
“We have set up important notices within the ports premises and encourage our employees to strictly follow them,” Kotelawala said.
“We also told our employees to enter the ports areas with their masks on and be vigilant with what is happening in and around the city as well,” he added.
Kotelawala also stated that SIPA is collaborating with the Ministry of Health, Customs and Immigration to inspect all the vessels arriving at the port.
“We make sure that the Ministry of Health and their quarantine team must clear the vessels before berthing at our port,” he added.
In terms of cargos coming in from outside, Kotelawala said that they have not experienced any decline as yet.
“But in the meantime, we also have our business continuity planning is in place to be activated in case of any emergency situation. This is to keep the port running in any adverse situation,” he stressed.
The CEO affirmed that both international ports in Honiara and Noro are ready for any situation that may arise relating to COVID-19.
“We are prepared in terms of manpower and resources.”
By ANDREW FANASIA