Chinese project experts arrive in Solomons amid pandemic surge

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Chinese infrastructure assistance for Solomon Islands amid covid-19 pandemic
Chinese infrastructure assistance for Solomon Islands amid covid-19 pandemic. Image: SB Online

By Robert Iroga in Honiara

A team of four experts from China have arrived in Honiara for on-site feasibility studies on two projects amid the surging case of covid-19 in the Solomon Islands.

The experts are here at the invitation of the government for studies on the upgrading of the national referral hospital and a new water plant.

They have arrived as Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare made a national address at the weekend saying there were now 2790 cases of infection in the country.

Sogavare said this was within 20 days of the country’s first case of domestic transmission of the virus, reports RNZ Pacific.

He said that on Friday alone, health officials had identified 430 cases.

Sogavare put the official death toll at 32 but other deaths are believed to have occurred at home.

The prime minister said all but three provinces have reported cases, and transmission was now widespread in the capital, Honiara.

Many of the local lockdowns that had been in place has been lifted but a curfew from 6pm to 6am will still be enforced.

Movement out of Honiara is not allowed.

The prime minister has repreated calls for people to get vaccinated.

Boost for bilateral relationship
The arriving Chinese expert team said in a statement: “Hopefully our arrival can help Solomon Islands strengthen infrastructure construction, improve medical conditions and livelihood, and boost development of bilateral relationship.”

The team, which has strictly complied with Solomon Islands’ quarantine procedures, said its arrival, work and persistence would promote the country’s anti-pandemic work and improve the public medical environment and infrastructure.

In the spirit of “Umi togeta against covid-19”, the team vowed to deliver its best in the fight against the pandemic in Solomon Islands.

“Our team will stand firmly with our friends in Solomon Islands, defy difficulties and dangers, work hard, and build a modern diagnosis and treatment place with advanced technologies for Solomon Islands with the latest construction technologies in the foreseeable future,” the team added.

Robert Iroga is editor of SB Online. Republished with permission.

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