Following the increasing number of coronavirus cases in Honiara City over the past 2-weeks, Rennell Bellona Provincial Premier, Honourable Tuhanuku is calling on the Oversight Committee (OSC) and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) to immediately consider, as a matter of priority, approval and deployment of a Health Assessment Team to conduct swab testing in Rennell Bellona Province.
This according to the Premier is due to the following likely means of exporting coronavirus transmission to the province via flights to the province and log ships picking up raw logs there.
Tuhanuku said between the 10th to18th of January 2022 there were 6 flights to Rennell Bellona Province. Two (2) of them flew to Bellona and Four (4) went to Tigoa, Rennell Island.
“Knowing that the first communally transmitted positive case in Honiara was identified in 17th January 2022, after the arrival of MV Awka from Pelau on the 10th of January” the premier said in a statement last night.
Rennell Bellona Executive Committee inferred that the 6-flights to the province may have exported coronavirus to the double islands of Mu Ngiki and Mu Ngawa.
He said this requires the need for immediate swab testing of the peoples of Rennell Bellona Province.
Tuhanuku said similarly, during the lockdown of Honiara City, from 25th to 28th of January 2022 a log-ship was spotted in Lavagu, Rennell Island. The log-ship was loading raw logs for exporting purposes.
The origin of the log-ship was Honiara and the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the city on Tuesday, 25th January 2022 have risen to 650 with two deaths.
He said not knowing coronavirus-status of crew of the log-ship is a matter of growing concern to the people of Rennell Bellona, they may be positive carriers of the coronavirus.
The Premier said that these two reasons alone justify the need for immediate swab testing in the province.
The Rennell Bellona Provincial Disaster Council (PDC) and Provincial Emergency Operation Committee (PEOC) was directed by the Provincial Executive, at its extra-ordinary meeting on 30th January 2022, to liaise with OSC and MHMS through the National Disaster Council (NDC) and National Emergency Operation Committee (NEOC) to conduct swab testing in Rennell Bellona Province.
In the meantime, Rennell Bellona PDC and PEOC is expected to finalise Rennell Bellona Province COVID19 Response Plan for endorsement and approval by the Provincial Executive Committee.