In light of the nationwide lockdown, as a result of the COVID-19 cases the Legislative Assembly has postponed the Parliament session scheduled on Monday, until further notice.

This is outlined in a public notice issued by the Speaker of the House, Lio Papalii Taeu Masipa’u.

Parliament has been in session since Tuesday to deliberate on the First Supplementary for Financial Year 2021-2022 in the amount of $21 million tala.

Under the proposed budget the Government allocated $9.5 million in support of the COVID-19 assistance.

The Speaker referenced the special announcement by Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa Saturday afternoon, on the 48 hours lockdown after 15 COVID-19 cases were confirmed; in the span of three days since the arrival of the repatriation flight from Australia.

Speaker Li’o said the postponement is until further notice, given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 developments.

Earlier today the National Emergency Operation Committee confirmed five additional cases are all passengers that arrived on the repatriation flight from Australia.

This is addition to the 10 cases confirmed on Wednesday.

Director General, Leausa Dr Take Naseri said the 15 passengers tested positive are asymptomatic and doing well.

Adding that the frontline workers that were at the Airport to service Wednesday’s flight, are now quarantined for the next 21 days.

Leausa said that on Friday more than 200 frontliner working at the Airport to service the repatriation flights from Australia underwent testing by the Ministry of Health and it garnered negative results.

Chairman of the National Emergency Operation Committee Agafili Shem Leo reminded the nationwide lockdown, which means everyone must stay home, all activities including flights, church, schools, bars, restaurants, gas stations, stores will be closed. Street vendors are urged to stay home, say Agafili.

“All services are suspended, private and public,” added the NEOC Chairman.

Only essential workers will continue with their work, including the hospital, Police and FESA.

Only authorised vehicles are allowed on the road by 6pm. The police will be conducting check-points to ensure the public to abide by the State of Emergency regulations.

Agafili reminded that it is now mandatory for the public to use face masks.