Prime Minister thanks PH Red Cross for assisting Solomon Islanders in COVID-response

Published September 22, 2020, 3:18 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The Prime Minister of Solomon Islands has thanked the Philippine Red Cross for providing assistance to hundreds of their nationals who are stranded in the Philippines and could not return to their home country because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Screenshot from Sen. Richard Gordon’s Facebook video / MANILA BULLETIN)

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare expressed his gratitude to the PRC and Sen. Richard Gordon, chair and CEO of the PRC, for responding to the needs of their compatriots.

“Let me convey my personal appreciation and debt of my government to Senator Richard J. Gordon, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Philippine Red Cross, his staff throughout Manila and the Philippines, for looking after our students in the Philippines,” Sogavare said in a statement.

“Senator Gordon, when we started to lose hope, your commitment to serve and respond to the need of others has reinvigorated our strength and resolve to work with your organization as a sincere and genuine partner to look after our students. Your organization has (taken) the place of a family away from family, a home away from home,” said Sogavare.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services of Solomon Islands had earlier requested the PRC to assist their citizens who are currently living in different areas around the country.

In a radio interview, Gordon disclosed there are 14 Solomon Island citizens who tested positive for COVID-19.

The government of Solomon Islands had required each citizen to have three negative COVID-19 test results before their repatriation flights.

Last September 11, the first batch of students were tested at the PRC molecular laboratory in its headquarters in Mandaluyong City and the results were sent to Choudhri the following day.

According to Gordon, they immediately provided assistance to these foreign students. All of them are now under quarantine and is being assisted by the PRC in isolation centers.

“Binibigay rin natin ang mga request nila tulad ng prutas at gulay. Halos kalahati na ang nate-test sa kanila at tatapusin natin iyan ngayong linggo, (We also give in to their request for more fruits and vegetables. Almost half of them have been tested and we will finish it this week),” Gordon said.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Gordon thanked Sogavare for recognizing the efforts of the PRC.

“We thank Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare for acknowledging the efforts of the Philippine Red Cross in looking after their students who were stranded in our country because of COVID-19 pandemic,” the senator said.

“We tested all their students and citizens to make sure they are free from the virus before they return to their homeland,” he assured.

As of this writing, the PRC’s Welfare Services Unit is visiting the students in isolation facilities to give them quarantine kits, as well as food and grocery items.

“As part of an international humanitarian organization, the Philippine Red Cross will continue to provide assistance to all those in need,” Gordon stressed.