Tannese Chief Peter Yamak has called from Australia to express utter disappointment and anger over media reports of the arrival of a Chinese plane at Port Vila International Airport, to deliver coronavirus medical equipment this week.
The former Port Vila Municipality Councillor says all 270,000 people in Vanuatu should demand the quarantining of some personnel who went to meet the Chinese plane on the tarmac allegedly without any protective face masks or hand gloves.
The chief who resigned from his position as Councillor of Port Vila Municipal Council last month and is currently in Australia, says it is difficult to understand how the outgoing Government authorities could allow one plane from the very country that the eyes of the world are staring at with suspicious eyes and anger as the very country from which COVID-19 was first confirmed in Wuhan City, could allow one of its planes to touch down in Port Vila while all passenger planes from nearby member countries including New Caledonia, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia are banned from landing in the current State of Emergency period.
The Council of Ministers approval for a SOE on COVID-19 Part one reads, “Over the whole Vanuatu for maintaining international border restrictions in line with COVID-19 prevention and containment measures”.
As the plane has come and gone, Chief Yamack is stressing the need for all 270,000 people of Vanuatu to demand that all Immigration and Customs personnel including all diplomats who met the plane on its arrival to be placed under quarantine for the next two weeks.
“While I am here in Australia, my spirit is back home in Port Vila and Vanuatu where my families are, we would have no chance of survival if the virus hits in our country”, Chief Yamack says.
“If it is a crime to express my concern about the threat of corona infection by the arrival of the Chinese plane then I am quite prepared to face the strongest discipline by our Vanuatu Government authorities for speaking out.
“I would not be as concerned if one of our closest donor partners made the offer and was allowed its plane to airlift relevant medical equipment to Port Vila for standby incase, but not China which has the accusing eyes of the world staring at it”.
He says the seemingly blatant decision regardless of the ongoing SOE has given him all the more determination to speak his mind to the political leaders of the current outgoing Government as well as the Directors General and Directors.
Meanwhile the current call of SOE by the outgoing Government bans all cruise liners and airlines that bring in visitors.
However, the SOE gives special permission to allow planes and ships in that bring essential cargo including fuel.
An official who asked not to be named said all personnel on those trips into Port Vila take extra special care when they come as far as the disembarkation gate saying, “Believe me, the persons come to hand over their documents then turn round and leave, they look like astronauts on a trip to the moon”.
A front page article in the Daily Post Issue No. 5997 of Tuesday of this week reported the outgoing Prime Minister as saying “the medial supplies from China were requested by Vanuatu”.