One month on; SI still COVID 19 Free

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SOLOMON Islands has been COVID-19 free now for more than a month.

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Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare announced in his nationwide address this afternoon.

The Prime Minister said Health authorities have completed the follow up on 18 of the 20 former infected individuals.

“These 18 people have now been released.  The final two people are still being followed up by the health team,” he said.

The Prime Minister also stated that last Friday (May 28) a repatriation exercise of several nationals from high-risk countries was also undertaken.

“We also brought in several key personnel for priority SIG projects including the international airport upgrade and the Kukum Highway Phase II project,” he said.

Prime Minister Sogavare said to-date COVID-19 tests conducted on arrival for several of the new arrivals have been negative.

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He said a total of 180 people are still in our quarantine stations following the arrivals last Friday, and graduation of 56 individuals last week.

The Prime Minister said health authorities have now carried out more than 13,000 COVID-19 tests in the country, the vast majority being for people in quarantine.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said he is pleased to inform that a surveillance screening exercise conducted by the Ministry of Health at the National Referral Hospital, the Mataniko Pikinini Clinic, Good Samaritan Hospital in Guadalcanal Province and Pelau in Malaita Province have all come back with negative COVID-19 test results.

He said these results further confirm that we are COVID-19 Free.

However, Prime Minister Sogavare said the surveillance screening exercise found that ‘respiratory syncytial virus’, a common and contagious virus that causes respiratory tract infection was predominant in urban Honiara, while Human rhinovirus, that can cause acute asthma, bronchitis and viral pneumonia was dominant in rural areas.

“Fellow Solomon Islanders, these findings mean that while we continue to focus on managing the COVID-19 pandemic, we must not take out attention away from the more common health challenges facing our people,” he said.

ENDS///

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