BY ALEX DADAMU
THE proposed dates for the first two (2) repatriation flights for Manila, the Philippines scheduled for 15th and 18th September 2020 – these dates are not final and can be changed, according to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his weekly COVID-19 updates today.
Prime Minister Sogavare said there are so many moving parts to planning an operation such as repatriation flights and as such, these dates for the first two (2) repatriation flights are not final and can be changed.
He added that with regards to risk level, Unlike China, which the risk level is in category 3, the Philippines is in category 4 and riskier.
However, the Prime Minister gave an assurance that despite all the risks, all 400 students studying in the Philippines must be brought home.
“As a responsible Government, it is our obligation to repatriate our stranded students in the Philippines as keeping them there longer will increase their chances of contracting the virus.
“Therefore, despite the risks, we must bring our students home and we are expecting to repatriate well over 400 of our students,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.
Sunday Isles understood that at the moment, the Ministries of Education, Foreign Affairs, and Health are coordinating the testing arrangements with the assistance from the World Health Organization for the students.
In the meantime, all 104 passengers that arrived from Guangzhou, China since arrival have now been quarantined at their designated quarantine stations under strict conditions.
According to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, all will undergo a required period of quarantine until deemed safe to be released and will be tested periodically.
“First tests have already been conducted within 48 hours of their arrival in accordance with the testing procedure. Testing apart, they are still undergoing rigorous health checks during quarantine,” Prime Minister Sogavare.