Public Health Emergency Bill task force had this week gathered inputs from team leads and members of all government ministries and agencies, state owned enterprises including non-government organizations engaged in COVID-19 operations both frontline and support operations.
The bill once enacted and come into force will to certain extent change how frontline and support staff of COVID-19 operations carry out their tasks and duties and as such was necessary to include them in the consultations.
Furthermore, since the bill aims to enhance effectiveness and efficiency of national response to COVID-19, it is crucial that the experiences of COVID-19 front-liners and support staff are shared and captured. This is to help shape and define the bill to meet its intended purpose.
Attorney-General Mr John Muria in his remarks to open the consultation thanked the participants for their commitment and dedication towards protecting Solomon Islands from the global pandemic, especially in preventing the worst-case scenario of a community transmission.
“Our society remains free from COVID-19 transmission to date and much can be attributed towards the hard working front-liners and support staff. More importantly for this consultation, experiences in COVID-19 operations is very relevant to provide critical inputs to help the taskforce continue to improve the bill to ensure that once passed it will enhance effectiveness and efficiency of COVID-19 operations”,
“Therefore thank you for your time and effort to attend the consultation and your contributions is greatly appreciated”, stated Mr Muria.
Consultation include, presentations including questions and answer sessions on the bill, international health regulation, national preparedness and response to COVID-19 followed by groups discussions and presentations on key elements of the bill by the participants.
Participants include medical and health workers, police, National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) Solomon water, Solomon Islands Red Cross, immigration and customs, ports authority etc. PHEB consultation is at the edge of its completion with 2 more consultations scheduled for first week of March before taskforce moves to finalize for tabling in parliament. Once enacted, PHEB will replace the current State of Public Emergency once it expires.