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South Malaita villages at risk of COVID-19 after positive cases recorded on Awka

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Awka floating at Point Cruz Harbour. Photo sent to SBM from the boat.
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With the confirmation that 23 people from M.V Awka are positive with COVID-19, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said they must now now backtrack and check all the villages in South Malaita that the vessel went to before it was recalled.

Awkwa was in Small Malaita last week when the Prime Minister made an urgent appeal for the ship to return. During that time Sogavare stated that the boat brought COVID-19 to Honiara from Ontong Java when it arrived on January 10th and one of its passengers was the first to be tested positive for the virus.

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Awka arrived on Wednesday last week and had since anchored at the Point Cruz coastline where the rest of the COVID-18 persons and others are quarantined.

Delivering his national address this afternoon, Sogavare said: “We have received confirmation this morning that 23 people from MV Awka are positive with COVID-19. Three of the people are quite sick and have been transferred to the field hospital. The rest are being quarantined.”

He continued: “We must now backtrack and check all the villages in South Malaita this vessel went to before it was recalled because COVID-19 outbreaks could already be happening in these villages.”

Sogavare said they are also waiting for the test results of the crew of MV Fair Chief that went to Malaita, Makira, and Choiseul.

“If any crew test positive, then they would have also taken COVID-19 to these provinces because 4 people from MV Awka went on this vessel to Makira,” said the prime minister.

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