Government rejects allegation officials were unmasked at the Airport

All personnel who were at the Honiara International Airport on Tuesday 26 May at the arrival of the stranded nationals were wearing Personal Protective Equipment, PPE.

“No officials were present without masks after the aircraft landed”, a bold government statement clearly spells out. 

This statement is in direct response to Solomon Star’s ‘Why no masks’ article published yesterday (27th May, 2020).

The article claimed, a number of Government officials were seen on the tar-mac without protective gear especially masks.

It further alleged, Standard protocols and health safety were not practiced at the tar mac by government officials when nationals coming from the COVID 19 stricken country of Australia landed. It further claimed, this is a reflection of ‘do what I say and don’t do what I do attitude’.

But rejecting this allegation, the Government said, prior to the arrival of the aircraft Senior Officials from Oversight Committee were present under instructions of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to observe and ensure frontline officials were prepared to facilitate our citizens’ arrival.

“There was an army of Officials present to witness and confirm the fact so unless Solomon Star retracts and apologises for the misleading statement, the matter will be reported to police for investigation”, it said.

It said, the media did not even accord the Oversight Committee or the concerned Government personnel their right to reply before running the story.  

“Such irresponsible and inaccurate reporting will only create public anxiety and alarm. This is a potential breach of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations 2020,” it explained. The Office of the Prime Minister calls on all media to exercise their freedom with great responsibility, especially during the current state of public emergency.