The Malaita Provincial Premier Daniel Suidani has made a last-minute appeal calling on the national government to stop the direct flight to China and listen to its citizens.
Premier Suidani in an interview yesterday said obedience is better than sacrifice, adding, the flight to China is too risky for this small island nation with a population of just half a million.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic has killed more people than the entire Solomon Islands population.
“It is wise to protect the country and close the borders rather than pushing for a direct flight to China,” he said.
The premier said COVID-19 is no joke and the fact that the deadly virus originated from China makes it unwise for the government of the day to endorse a direct flight to China when the pandemic is still active.
The premier maintained that the planned flight is untimely and is not convincing and questioned who the government of the day wants to convince and impress by sending a direct flight from Honiara to China when COVID-19 is still active.
Mr. Suidani said the country is not ready to handle any COVID-19 pandemic outbreak should COVID-19 riches the country due to government carelessness.
“To make sense to the preparedness and preventive measures that the DCGA government is preaching, the direct flight to China must be stopped, or else the government is messing up the whole situation for a country that is still COVID-19 free at present.
“The trip is not in the best interest of citizens of this country.
“Stop gambling with the health and lives of our people.
“Cancel the direct flight to China and start listening to the citizens for once.
“Prevention is better than cure and that should be the stand we take as a country that lacks capabilities to fight against the pandemic,” he said.
He said the country is not ready and if the direct flight brings COVID-19 into the country then Malaita Province will suffer more given the fact that Malaita has more people compared to other provinces.
The premier attributed the government’s COVID-19 repatriation which has killed 27 Malaitans, adding, he feared the risks of ill-decision making by the national government might kill more Malaitans, a thing that the premier did not want to see happen.
The premier also lashed out at the PM’s statement which stated China does not get a special treatment from this government.
“This is an ignorant comment that is far from reality,” he said.
The flight had departed on Tuesday for China.
By WILSON SAENI
Auki News Bureau