Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has announced there are now only two active cases of COVID-19— but expresses concern that they have been positive for the past 79 days.
Speaking during his first COVID-19 nationwide today, Sogavare said: “I am extremely happy to inform you all, that as of this morning, we now only have 2 positive cases of COVID-19.”
He said of the 17 recorded cases 15 have turned negative and of these, 11 have been released after completing three consecutive negative tests after their last positive tests and 10 were released over the past two months, and one last week.
Sogavare said the two remaining positive cases are soccer players that returned from England on 25th October 2020.
“This is a concern for us. These two have been positive now for 79 days,” PM Sogavare said.
He continues: “In-fact, the other 8 positive cases that returned from the United Kingdom, and the one case that returned from Indonesia, were all positive for well over a month each.
“These prolonged positive cases are telling us that the COVID-19 virus does not just disappear from infected individuals at 10 or 14 days after their symptoms subside – especially from those that do not have any symptoms,” he said.
Sogavare also reiterated that the number of COVID-19 cases registered in Solomon Islands remain at 17.
“This is nothing short of a miracle, given that in the month of December alone, we brought 821 people into the country. More than 90% of these people are our citizens we repatriated from Vanuatu, Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Fiji,” he said.
Sogavare said one of the students that arrived from the Philippines and who was positive from COVID-19 while in the Philippines and turned negative for almost two months before his repatriation, reactivated after arrival to be transiently positive and has now turned negative again.
The PM explains that under international protocol, this case had been recorded against the Philippines, and therefore it does not increase our count.
“This is the reason our domestic cases remain at 17 cases registered against Solomon Islands,” he said.