Press Release
September 29, 2020


Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare commended the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) as he spoke at the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), an annual gathering of 193 member states of the United Nations (UN), which is the world's largest intergovernmental organization.

"COVID-19 has brought Solomon Islands closer with its partners. We have made new friends, the latest being the Philippine Red Cross doing a fantastic job in testing and looking after our students in Manila. We are grateful to the excellent work of Red Cross, continue to do to our nationals," said Sogavare in a pre-recorded speech that was broadcasted as live on Monday, September 27, according to the official Facebook page of the Prime Minister's Press Secretariat.

A week ago, Sogavare expressed gratitude for the PRC, and its Chairman and CEO Senator Richard J. Gordon's efforts in helping more than 400 Solomon Islanders who were stranded in the Philippines due to COVID-19 pandemic get tested for the virus.

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

"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," Sogavare said in his national address on September 21.

In a Facebook post on September 21, 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. As part of an international humanitarian organization, the Philippine Red Cross will continue to provide assistance to all those in need," said Gordon.

Aside from RT-PCR tests, the PRC also visited the students who were tested positive for the virus in isolation facilities and gave them quarantine kits, food and grocery items.

The first batch of the students who completed the three rounds of testing and were tested negative for COVID-19 will be flying back to Solomon Islands tomorrow morning, September 29.

The PRC is continuing to conduct PCR testing for the other students. Those who belong to List 2 still need another round of testing and is scheduled to leave next week, while those belonging to List 3 still need three more rounds of test. The schedule of their flight is on October 29 if they will be tested negative.

Meanwhile, the PRC and the Solomon Islands government signed a Memorandum of Agreement today.

Gordon and PRC Secretary General Elizabeth Zavalla signed for the PRC, while Minister of Health and Medical Services Dr. Yogesh Choudhri signed for Solomon Islands.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Head of Asia Pacific Kathryn Clarkson acted as a witness.

News Latest News Feed