Please consider this letter in support of the SIG’s efforts to tackle Covid -19.
The COVID – 19 outbreak is recognized as a pandemic by the WHO, with the United Nations health agency repeatedly underlining the importance of nations moving to impose sweeping public health measures.
The Solomon Islands government has taken measures to protect public health and to keep coronavirus at bay, so far successfully.
Should a case of coronavirus occur in the Solomon Islands then special long term medical care will be needed, and why I have so often raised the importance of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the National Referral Hospital (NRH).All around the world at this time emergency hospitals are being rapidly erected and equipped and the latest being in London.
Emergency hospitals are ready in Italy, Spain, France, the United States and China. Australia and New Zealand are taking similar action.
Australia, New Zealand, the United States and China are effectively partnering the Solomon Islands government in combatting the threat of Covid-19.
Australia most recently air lifted equipment and medical supplies to Honiara and also supplied a testing machine to allow for the testing of those suspected of having coronavirus at home. Previous testing had been conducted in Melbourne before the ban was introduced on flights to/from Honiara.
In Wuhan where coronovirus was first said to have occurred a huge emergency hospital was built by thousands of Chinese workers in 10 days.
Overseas, large facilities have been turned into emergency ICU’s almost overnight.
The Solomon Islands government does not have the financial resources or the materials to build emergency facilities on the scale implemented overseas, but it does need to have, in my view, one or more functioning and equipped ICU’s in case there should occur a case of coronavirus locally.
In the case of the Wuhan emergency facility the Chinese contractors used pre-fabricated building units which were lifted into place by cranes,
It surely would not be asking too much of one or more of the existing diplomatic partners to go the extra mile in supporting the Solomon Islands government with the provision of a pre-fabricated and equipped ICU.
At present, there is no vaccination available for the coronavirus and world health experts do not expect one will become available for some time.
The Solomon Islands is pursuing intensive and socially disruptive measures in order to prevent the encroachment of coronavirus and one must give credit to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the ‘front line’ officials dealing with the threat.
One prays coronavirus is prevented from reaching the Solomon Islands but the early provision of an ICU is considered vital