‘Deal with stranded locals in China’ - Solomon Star News

‘Deal with stranded locals in China’

16 February 2020
Lawrence Makili. [Photo: Lachlan Eddie]

An outspoken Civil Activist Lawrence Makili has called on the Solomon Islands Government to explain its position in regards to its citizens who are stranded in China due to the Coronavirus outbreak.  

Makili said the outbreak and current status of the virus has caused flight restrictions which also cause challenges for the Solomon Islands citizens especially those traveling on business tour who are now stranded.

He said the most supportive neighbouring countries like Australia and New Zealand have already on to their planning strategy on evacuating their citizens out from China.

“Their planning involves the set-up of quarantine processes for the citizens as part of the evacuation process,” he said. 

He said close neighbour PNG sought assistance from Aussie and New Zealand and were also supported as well as Fiji.

Makili said currently more than 20 Solomon Islanders are in China and what can the government do about them given the flight restrictions and the threats to the Coronavirus. 

“Some of them find it difficult to come home because of the ban. The question is what mechanisms did the government have in making sure they come back?

“And if they are to come back, do we have a process where they come and get quarantine and treated? He said.

He stated that though they are living abroad, as long as they are citizens of Solomon Islands the government has a mandate to protect them and ensure they are safe and well taken care off.

“I understand some of them are there for education purposes whilst some are on business travel and those on business travel are the most affected ones as they will face problems with finances and accommodations.

“For me as an activist, this is a total negligence by the government to our citizens who are there struggling with emotions, depressed especially as we don’t know how well in terms of finance they are to meet all those things like accommodations, food and others ” he said.

He said it is the role of the government to check for its citizens and find ways to support or evacuate them back to country for safety reasons.