Solomon Islands extends state of emergency for 4 months amid COVID-19 pandemic

Source: Xinhua| 2020-04-09 15:47:44|Editor: xuxin
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SYDNEY, April 9 (Xinhua) -- An extension of the state of emergency (SOE) was announced in Solomon Islands on Wednesday over the COVID-19 concerns.

"The SOE was declared by the Governor General (Sir David Vunagi) on 25 March and Parliament has passed a motion to extend it for another four months, which means it will end on July 25," a spokesperson for the Prime Minister's office told Xinhua.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said there would be three phases of SOE and the nation was currently in phase one which would involve a weekend curfew around the country's capital Honiara.

"This will allow the government to test its response capacity and help identify challenges faced during the actual lockdown," Sogavare said.

"During this period a curfew will be implemented for 24 hours and only selective essential services will be allowed to operate with permissions during this phase."

Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau said the police would establish checkpoints throughout the city during the curfew hours which would start on Friday night and last till Sunday morning.

Anyone breaching the curfew orders will face a fine or imprisonment or both, he said.

As of Thursday, the Solomon Islands remained one of a few countries around the world with no confirmed cases of COVID-19.