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PM pleads with nation to get vaccinated to reopen borders as economy deteriorates

The country’s economy is deteriorating and it cannot remain in isolation for too long, says Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare as he pleads to eligible Solomon Islanders to get vaccinated.

Prime Minister in his fortnight nationwide address yesterday

“As much as I would like to see that we are all safe from COVID-19, we cannot remain in isolation for too long because our economy is deteriorating.

“The responsibility to protect our country from COVID-19 and at the same time have a viable economy, rests with us all. 

“I plead with you all as your Prime Minister to get vaccinated,” Prime Minister Sogavare said in his fortnightly COVID-19 nationwide address yesterday.  

He said the country needs to set a realistic date to achieve its vaccination target and a realistic target to open its borders.

The Prime Minister said the quickest and safest way to reopen the borders is to achieve a 90-percent coverage of full vaccination for the total eligible population of 414, 327 people which is 372, 895 people.

“This is our minimum target. If we can achieve this coverage, we can open our borders safely,” he said.

The Prime Minister also shared reflection and testimony on COVID-19 and how it tears families apart and drives nations into economic peril, based on regional and global news.

He said it would be a completely different matter if COVID-19 was spreading like wildfire among our communities in Honiara, Guadalcanal and throughout the country. 

“We will surely see the kinds of suffering we now only read about or see in global or regional news.

“We will see hospital admissions increase. We will see death rates climbing especially among those that have not been vaccinated. 

“We will see families pulled apart, and we may not even be able to bury our loved ones,” the Prime Minister said.

The Government has tasked the Oversight Committee to review restrictions that are currently in place and make recommendations on how and when the government should consider reopening its border.

By Jared Koli

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