The National Government through the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) has developed a communication strategy for its staff and media stakeholders in anticipation of a lockdown should there be community transmission of the COVID-19 in the country.

The strategy focuses on raising awareness about the revised lockdown plan, which was recently endorsed by the Oversight Committee for the Honiara declared Emergency Zone. The revised lockdown plan builds on the first lockdown plan, which was approved by Cabinet and lessons learnt from earlier lockdowns. Provinces can adapt the revised lockdown plan to suit their circumstances.

The key objectives of the communication strategy will include informing all Solomon Islanders on important aspects of a lockdown, encourage individuals, families and communities to step up their level of preparedness for a possible lockdown, and to reduce the chance of people breaching lockdown orders.

Meanwhile the NEOC has also stepped up its operational readiness to prepare for the 2020/2021 cyclone season. An awareness talk for all NEOC, NDMO and Camp Management EOC Personal has been arranged for this week.

NEOC Chief of Operations Mr. George Baragamu says this is important given the country is now going through its cyclone season. He says in the event a tropical cyclone strikes the country’s, front line workers will be challenged in two fronts, to contain cyclone related impacts and manage ongoing COVID-19 operations.

He says having a communication plan in place to reach out to communities on the lockdown plan is pertinent to our overall response to COVID-19, and the media with whom the communications strategy is being developed will play a crucial role in its implementation.