The Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare has this afternoon announced two more COVID-19 positive cases detected in quarantine.
“ Fellow citizens, today I have been advised by the Ministry of Health and I regret to inform you all that our laboratory has diagnosed two new cases of COVID-19. This has now increased our COVID-19 cases diagnosed in the country to 22”.
“One of the cases is a 10 year old boy who returned from Fiji with his Family on 22nd of December and because of his age he was not vaccinated. However, the rest of his family have been fully vaccinated and have all tested negative. The second case is a national that had just returned from Dubai. He was fully vaccinated with the last dose taken in July this year”, said Prime Minister Sogavare.
The test results of remaining those who came from Fiji are negative and for others who came on Saturday, the tests for others in the flight coming form Brisbane, 29 have been tested negative and tests of remaining 18 are being processed.
He explained that while swab samples will be sent overseas to determine the COVID-19 variant that is now in country, as NRH molecular lab cannot do genome sequencing to identify the variant, it is likely that the infection from the passenger from Fiji is the Delta variant and Omicron for the passenger from Dubai.
Having stated these, the Prime Minister strongly urged the public to now adopt COVID-19 safe measures; these include reducing movement and remain in homes as much as possible, avoid large crowds or gathering of people, practice social distancing and stay at least 2 meters from the next person, use hand sanitizer when you touch something or someone, do not shake hands, wear face masks and cough or sneeze into elbows.
“All COVID-19 vaccine eligible adults that have not yet been vaccinated or not fully vaccinated with two doses, please ensure you take your vaccination immediately. All school aged children between 12-17 years old and pregnant women who live in Honiara and Guadalcanal province please go for your Pfizer vaccines as soon as possible”, stated the Prime Minister Sogavare.
In Honiara AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccination for adults 18 years and above and Pfizer vaccination for children 12 to below 18 years of age and pregnant women is at Solomon Ports car park area opposite Bank South Pacific Central Point Cruz. Those on the outskirts of Honiara, East of Honiara is at Good Samaritan Hospital and for West of Honiara two mobile teams are visiting communities around Lambi and Selwyn College, Marovovo communities. Additional sites in Honiara and Guadalcanal will be conveyed soon.
“Do not wait for community transmission to start before you rush for COVID-19 vaccines and start adopting to COVID-19 safe practices” Stated the Prime Minister.
Other measures that will be undertaken by the government includes;
- Management of the two positive persons in separate isolation facilities
- Immediate suspension on all incoming passenger services until further notice
- All Solomon Islands are advised to not travel to any country affected by Omicron Variant of COVID-19, except for those that travel will remain overseas for more than 2 months. In other words, those travelling to these countries will not be allowed to re-enter Solomon Islands for a minimum of 2 months and they will only return if borders re-open.
- Any Solomon Islanders who has not been vaccinated will not be able to travel overseas.
Prime Minister Sogavare also highlighted that the threat of Omicron variant must be taken very seriously if it is in the country as it spread faster than the Delta variant and therefore must not be allow to spread to the communities.