Seaside community wants relocation of COVID-19 isolation unit

The Seaside community in Port Vila has called on the Government to relocate its COVID-19 isolation unit at the Vila Central Hospital to another site.

The Chairman of the Council of Chiefs at the Central Ward in Port Vila, Paul Fred Tariliu, says the communities of Seaside, Tongoa and Futuna in Port Vila believe the facility is too close to their communities.

Mr Tariliu said he believes the facility’s location is not safe because of its proximity to surrounding communities.

Mr Tariliu says the communities are working on a petition to submit to the Minister of Health to have the COVID-19 isolation unit relocated.

He says the Council of Chiefs for the Central Ward will hold a meeting this week to draft the petition.

However, the Government’s Spokesperson for COVID-19, Len Tarivonda, says the isolation unit poses no risk to the people living close to it.

A spokesperson for the Seaside Area, Fred Reuben, says despite the concerns raised about the unit, his community continues to practice measures so people don’t contract the virus.

Mr Reuben says the people in his community live close to each other and that makes it is easy for the virus to spread there.

He says the community has revived the handwashing practice and social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We have also allowed only one route for people to use to enter and leave the community,” Mr Reuben said.

The Seaside community has called on the Government to do more to raise awareness about the dangers of the coronavirus.

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