SIMA calls for total ban - Solomon Star News

SIMA calls for total ban

25 March 2020
Solomon Airlines still operates three (3) weekly flights to and from Brisbane, Australia.

THE Government, without exceptions, should stop all foreigners coming into the country if it is to prevent the coronavirus from reaching our shores.

That’s the view of the Solomon Islands Medication Association (SIMA) in a position statement issued on Tuesday.

The Government over the weekend imposed a ban on all foreign nationals from entering Solomon Island, except for diplomats and technical Covid-19 expatriates.

The ban became effective last Sunday.

But in a statement, SIMA said giving exceptions for diplomats and technical Covid-19 expatriates is a loophole and exposes the nation to risks of importing the virus into the country.

“In line with the government’s stringent measures to prevent the import of Covid-19, SIMA wishes to make the call to government to ban all inbound flights,” the statement said. 

“SIMA sees a total ban on incoming flights as supportive to current quarantine and isolation preparedness plans,” it added. 

“Grounding the airbus to standby mode for emergency flights only, will save costs in the long term and allow essential items and articles to be flown in and out of Solomon Islands when and as required. 

“SIMA sees the current action by the government to ban all foreign nationals from entering Solomon Island, except for diplomats and technical Covid-19 expatriates, as a loophole and exposure risk of importing the Covid-19 into the country.”

Meanwhile, in view of the current Covid-19 scenario and preparedness, SIMA strongly advises the government not to implement any salary cut to all public servants. 

“In addition, all public servants who are involved as frontline officers must be remunerated accordingly as per the emergency plans and budget allocated. 

“This includes the frontlines officers at airports, seaports, quarantine facilities, and isolation facilities.”