Wale calls to halt UK repatriation flight

Opposition Leader Mathew Wale

Leader of Opposition Hon. Mathew Wale calls on the government to halt repatriation plans for the United Kingdom (UK) as the multiple COVID-19 variants emerged with an unusually large number of mutants.

In an interview with SIBC News, Hon Wale said, Solomon Islands should be concerned about the new mutation until we know more of it.

As such, we should not allow any entry from the UK.

“I think it is better not to repatriate our citizens or not we should not allow anyone to come back in. It’s too much of a risk and unknown issues with regards to this new variant,” Mr Wale said.

Mr Wale said, our very resources will be stressed if the new COVID-19 variant reaches our shores.

He said, it will also test our standard of operating procedures and protocols that are in place if the new variant reaches the country.

“It is better from my perspective not to even take that risk and keep that variant offshore, let the strong rich countries deal with it. “Until such time vaccines are widespread in the UK and other places that have the variant then we can allow travel from other countries,” the Opposition Leader said.

He added, unfortunately it does not sound well for our citizens and residents in the UK but we must not take that risk.

There is still no evidence that these variants can cause more severe illnesses or increased risk of death.

In a talk back show through the national broadcaster, Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr Jimmie Rodgers confirmed that planned repatriation flights for the UK and other high risk countries are currently under review because of the new COVID-19 variant.

by Gina Maka’a

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