Kiribati declares state of public emergency

Kiribati declares state of public emergency

Kiribati declares state of public emergency and partial lock down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kiribati Head of State and President His Excellency Te Beretitenti Taneti Maamau has declared a State of Public Emergency for the Republic of Kiribati effective on the 26th of March, 2020. This is in response to the Corona Virus (COVID-19) outbreak which has reached the shores of the Pacific including Fiji.

The State of Public Emergency will allow Kiribati to prepare and manage the impact of this Novel Corona Virus 2019 pandemic. Kiribati remains at Level 2 on the Kiribati COVID-19 Alert level where there are no suspected cases of COVID-19 in Kiribati at the moment. The Government acknowledges that the people of Kiribati are very vulnerable to this virus as it lacks the human resources and capacity to prevent and stop the spread of disease once it enters Kiribati.

In relation to this State of Public Emergency preparedness, the Kiribati Government has announced as part of its precautionary measure, a partial lock down for students only.

All schools will be closed across Kiribati effective from 30th of March ending on the 16th of April, 2020. This early term or semester break will have students remaining at home or in boarding schools for those on the outer islands. All Government Ministries and bodies will remain as normal until further notice.

Furthermore, in response to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has set up a taskforce with subcommittees responsible for vulnerable sectors that could be affected by the disease outbreak.

The public is hereby advised to stay updated with news from the Government. Only news from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Office of Te Beretitenti are to be considered true and accurate on COVID-19 updates.

President Maamau reiterates the importance of following Health advisories by the Ministry of Health and Medical services (MHMS) in order to prevent and minimize the spread of the disease. The public is advised to remain calm and to be supportive since the Government is doing its best to prepare for and respond to the Covid19 pandemic and needs the support and understanding of its people during this time.

And knowing that Kiribati is a Christian country and a country of faith, President Maamau is appealing to all respective church leaders and all Kiribati citizen to stay united and remain resolute in PRAYERS to God to protect and bless Kiribati during these disturbing times.