First group of students studying in Philippines touchdown 5pm today

The first group of students will arrive on the first repatriation flight from the Philippines today (Tuesday 29 September 2020), 5:00 pm local time.

The Solomon Airlines Airbus A320 left Honiara 10:00am yesterday, made brief stop-over at Biak Airport in Indonesia and then to Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila. The airbus follows the same route for the return trip.

A statement from National Disaster Council (NDC) said that prior to boarding, all returning student have completed 3 sets of COVID-19 tests which were sent to SIG-Oversight Steering Committee (OSC) COVID-19 response and the Ministry of Health for approval.

Philippines is “high risk” for COVID-19 infections.

The change in the flight schedules was needed to give ample time for our health officials and the taskforce established by the OSC to liaise with Philippines Red Cross to coordinate changes to the passenger list for the first flight.

Timing for the second and third flights will be confirmed by the Oversight Steering Committee in due course.

The returning students will be accommodated at government managed Quarantine Stations (QS) at Guadalcanal Beach Resort and Chengs Building both located in East Honiara.

This 1st Philippine repatriation flight will be the 12th flight the Solomon Airlines will do. Of the previous 11 flights, 6 were from Brisbane, 2 from Vila and Nadi, 1 from Auckland, 1 from Guangzhou, China and 1 from Apia, Samoa.

Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) continues to lead the Government’s multi-sectoral approach to stem COVID-19 infiltration on our shores. All government agencies and stakeholders are providing the required support through the National Disaster Operations Committees (N-DOC) and Provincial Disaster Operations Committee (P-DOC).

N-DOC Camp Management Sector Committee maintains and continues to manage all the government approved QS in Honiara and Western Province.

At the moment, only 36 persons are undergoing quarantine at the government-managed QS’s.

The Solomon Islands remains COVID-19 free to date. The Government remains committed to implementing strict measures to prevent the importation and potential spread of COVID-19 within its borders.