27 dead on Solomon Islands ferry: Did it follow virus order?
The leader of the remote Solomon Islands says 27 people are dead after being washed overboard from a packed ferry last week and the government is conducting a criminal investigationBy NICK PERRY Associated PressApril 8, 2020, 8:25 AM3 min readWELLINGTON, New Zealand — The leader of the remote Solomon Islands said Wednesday that 27 people had died after being washed overboard from a crowded ferry last week and the government is conducting a criminal investigation. But others say the government itself must take responsibility after it told people to leave the capital and return to their home islands ahead of a possible coronavirus lockdown. The ship MV Taimareho left Honiara on the evening of April 2 as a tropical cyclone was approaching. Since then, Cyclone Harold has continued to cause problems in the South Pacific, battering some Vanuatu islands this week and then grazing Fiji. In the Solomon Islands, crews recovered seven bodies of those washed overboard. Authorities say that among those who died was a 13-year-old boy. So far nobody in the Solomon Islands, which has a population of 700,000, has tested positive for COVID-19. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said Wednesday he had met with relatives of those who