RSIPF confirms no border crossing at SI-PNG common border after COVID-19 awareness

The Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) in Western Province assures people in Solomon Islands that there has been no border crossing at the country’s common border with Papua New Guinea after the recent awareness program on the coronavirus (COVID-19).

RSIPF makes the assurance after it has been reported a person positive with COVID-19 is in Kokopo Village on New Britain Island in Papua New Guinea. This is not far from Bougainville.

Officer Commanding Station (OCS) at Kulitanae in Shortland Islands, Western Province, Sergeant Henry Iupa explains, “During our discussions with the chiefs and elders of the villages in the Shortlands I told him that after a team from Gizo comprising of RSIPF officers and officers from the Ministry of Health held an awareness talk in that Province, no OBMs crossed the Solomon Islands-PNG common border.”

Sergeant Iupa adds: “The people of Choiseul and Western provinces are fully aware of their responsibility to cooperate in order to strengthen the safety and security in the common border region. They also understand the need to assist RSIPF officers and other law enforcement agencies like Immigration, Customs, and Biosecurity who are currently manning the border with PNG.”

“Officers of the RSIPF Police Response Team (PRT) who are currently on the ground also confirm that there were no border crossings after the coronavirus awareness by both the police and health officials in the Western Province,” says Sergeant Iupa.”

He says, “This high level of security by our police officers in the common border region with the help of chiefs and elders in Western province especially those living in the Shortland Islands will be maintained to protect us from COVID-19.”

The RSIPF patrol boat, GIZO is expected to be in the common border region with Papua New Guinea in the next couple of days to boost the security in that region as the Government continues to put measures in place to ensure the virus does not enter Solomon Islands.

The country is yet to record any positive COVID-19 case.