Minister of Health & Medical Services Dr Culwick Togamana says while cases in Honiara are declining the virus is now transmitting to the rural areas where some 70 to 80 percent of the population reside.
“We are expecting surge in COVID-19 sick persons to our Provincial hospitals, areas health centres and nurse aid posts,” he said in his statement last night.
He said his ministry this week will continue deploying more oxygen supplies, PPEs, equipment and pharmaceuticals to level 2 medical stores for distribution to the various health service delivery points, the provincial hospitals, clinics, area health centres and nurse aid posts.
Togamana said many of these have been distributed in the past weeks and are slowly reaching their designated health facilities.
He added further trainings were conducted last week and will continue this week for health workers in Honiara and the provinces in the management of COVID-19 patients across various levels from moderate, severe to critical cases.
“Such trainings will also include COVID management at community level to manage our vulnerable and at-risk population groups such as our elderlies and those with comorbidities, as well as for those with long COVID syndrome after being discharged from health facilities,” he said.
Togamana said creating additional and dedicated beds and space for COVID-19 sick patients at our health facilities serving close to communities will also be vamped up in the coming days.
“Our Honiara based health workers experiences in the past 2 to 3 weeks of responding to community transmission is also being shared to colleagues in the provinces as part of preparing responses to surge in cases from our rural communities.
Reviewing and updating of various guidelines to care for COVID-19 patients including for other related supportive services is continuing, and this includes usage of PPEs and IPC levels for different scenarios,” said the minister.