There will not be any lockdown on Efate if there is a confirmed or suspected coronavirus case, said the Director of Public Health and Spokesperson for COVID-19 matters, Len Tarivonda.
Director Tarivonda said this to clarify speculations by some people that there will be a lockdown in the event of a coronavirus outbreak in Vanuatu.
He said a lockdown is unlikely but existing quarantine protocols will be strengthened if Vanuatu has a border quarantine case.
These speculations came after Solomon Islands announced after it has lost the battle to stay coronavirus free, recording its first case of border quarantine case.
The Solomon Islands student studying in Philippines had tested negative three times before being repatriated. He was tested positive during a routine check at Honiara International Airport.
Director Tarivonda emphasized that it’s very important that quarantine protocols are strictly followed by repatriates and everyone else in Vanuatu.
People returning home can still be exposed on route to airports to boarding repatriation flights after being tested, he stressed.
He assured that if a coronavirus case is brought to Vanuatu through quarantine, it will be treated and managed in quarantine.
The Ministry of Health is providing daily temperature monitoring for all repatriates in quarantine, according to Director Tarivonda.
Testing is done usually on day 5 and day 11 for repatriates coming from high risk countries areas and Countries such as Australia, he said.
While a COVID-19 response plan is already in place to control any future situation, Director Tarivonda said everyone must maintain handwashing to protect themselves.