Students Return from Philippines without Quarantined is Misleading

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Solomon Islands students of the AMA University in the Philippines. Photo Supplied.

BY TAVAKE SIMON HANA’AROA

TWENTY alleged people believed to be local students studying in the Philippines that had arrived on Tuesday without being quarantined as reported by Island Sun Newspaper yesterday turned out to be untrue.

Local students at AMA University in the Philippines lashed out their frustrations and slammed Island sun for reporting incorrect information which could create panic and anxiety for the general public.

According to the Island Sun report, Mr. Mua allegedly issued strong instructions to officers of his Ministry of Health to track down the alleged individuals and have them undergo home quarantined under their monitor.

Mass Communication Student Victor Bobby Bosali told Sunday Isles that yesterday’s (Thursday 19 March) article is misleading and it may cause unnecessary panic for the public.

He said all the students studying under the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) scholarship are still in the Philippines, around 400 of them.

“There were foreigners which according to my understanding who arrived at the Honiara International Airport on Tuesday.

“The alleged 20 SIG students studying here in the Philippines who returned to the Solomon Islands is not true.

“All of us about 400 of us are here still, crying to our government to make any possible attempt, sooner than later to evacuate us when this COVID-19 is still not that serious,” Bobby Bosali said.

Though the article had cited the Immigration office’s confirmation that the group has traveled in from the Philippines and had transited through Papua New Guinea, it could not confirm Mua’s statement that the group is local students studying in the Philippines.

The COVID-19 cases are increasing every day and night in the Philippines with confirmed cases totaled up to 202 and 17 deaths so far.

The Mass Communication Student in the meantime called for calm and less panicking from the public as he urged not to believe rumors and false speculation.

“I urge the general public not to believe in rumors and to stop the spread of fabricated information.

“I also urged the media organizations to get their facts right before publishing to avoid misleading the public with untrue information that can cause havoc and panic for the public.

“Rather individuals need to listen and follow whatever precautionary measures from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health and Medical Services including other relevant government authorities,” Bobby said.