Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has declared a lockdown on Ontong Java in the Malaita Outer Islands following the six positive cases diagnosed on the island of Pelau today (January 18) for an indefinite period.
This lockdown period effectively banned vessels and people from traveling to and from Ontong Java for an indefinite period.
The Government, however, will ensure food stocks, medicine and basic necessities are shipped to the islands under approved shipping arrangements.
“The government will ensure that food supplies to the shops in Pelau and Luaniua is supplied through approved shipping services to ensure people of Ontong Java can still access and buy their food from their suppliers,” Sogavare said
The lockdown orders banned vessels or helicopters from entering or leaving Ontong Java except for vessels or helicopters authorized through the Oversight Committee and its operating arms.
The orders also banned people except authorized officers from traveling to or leave Ontong Java until further notice.
The orders also discouraged mixing of people from Luaniua and Pelau villages while people movement within the two villages are allowed under safe covid-19 practices including wearing face masks, limited gatherings, social distancing of two meters, constant hand
A detailed assessment on the situation will be conducted and additional measures will be implemented, as necessary when officials reached the islands.