Press Release
September 22, 2020

Solomon Islands Prime Minister thanks Red Cross for providing assistance to hundreds of stranded Solomon Islanders in RP

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare thanked the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) during his nationwide address on Monday, September 21, for the PRC's efforts in helping more than 400 Solomon Islanders who were stranded in the Philippines and could not return to their home country due to COVID-19 pandemic.

"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. 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 took the place of a family away from family, a home away from home," said Sogavare.

Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services Dr. Yogesh Choudhri sent a request to the PRC earlier this month to assist their citizens who are currently living in different areas around the country. The Solomon Islands government required each citizen to have three negative COVID-19 test results before their repatriation flights.

On 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.

During the Lingkod Aksyon program of DZMM TeleRadyo aired on Sunday, September 20, PRC Chairman and CEO Senator Richard J. Gordon disclosed that there are 14 Solomon Islands citizens who were tested positive for COVID-19.

"Agad namin silang tinulungan. Lahat sila ngayon ay naka-quarantine at inaasikaso sila ng Red Cross sa 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," Gordon said.

Likewise, Gordon thanked Sogavare in a Facebook post on Monday 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. We tested all their students and citizens to make sure they are free from the virus before they return to their homeland," he said.

As of this writing, the PRC continues to conduct RT-PCR testing to Solomon Islands citizens, while its 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 added.

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