According to the Deputy Chairman of the Provincial Disaster Committee Patrick Toireana, the new regulation was made in light of the growing threat from the current COVID-19 pandemic.
It is also part of Western Province’s preparedness plan to prepare for the virus should it enters the country.
The notice became effective as of today 26th March 2020 until further notice.
The notice stated as follows;
- The MSG betel nut stalls and MSG Building itself will be closed for the public;
- No vendor shall be allowed to sell betel nuts, cigarettes, cooked rice food, and other items;
- No person shall be allowed to sleep in the MSG building;
- All market stalls in and around Gizo Town including those along the public roads closed;
- All night clubs, pubs and entertainment venues closed.
- All sports tournaments, events, and other planned social gatherings suspended.
- All other churches or public meetings or gatherings suspended.
Mr. Toireana said the action is deemed necessary following the advice from the Provincial Health Emergency Operations Committee (PHOEC) in preparation for a possible lockdown in Gizo should the situation gets worse.
The notice further stated that the public is hereby urged to practice social distancing to help curb the pandemic should it enter the country within means avoiding handshakes, keeping 1 or 2 meters distance and self or home quarantine if necessary.
“Furthermore the public is also urged to please abide by this notice to ensure all of us play our part in addressing this global scourge should it ever enter the Solomon Islands,” Stated the notice.
Mr. Toiraena added that Police in Gizo is also informed and shall use their powers to warn or arrest anyone who defies this public notice.
Meanwhile, the Western Provincial Government (WPG) will hold its first emergency meeting on COVID-12 (Corona Virus) today with all the relevant institutions, representatives of the business, community, stakeholders, the churches leaders to update on the current global, regional and local impact of the pandemic that is affecting the country.
By ULUTAH GINA