SOLOMON Islands has recorded 120 new positive cases of COVID-19 and one death.
In his fifth address on the COVID-19 situation in the country this week, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare this evening (Saturday 22nd January) said the 120 new cases brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 289.
He said 254 of this 289 cases have been diagnosed only in the past five days – Wednesday 18th to Saturday 22nd January.
He said according to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, some patients with existing diseases are getting seriously sick with COVID-19 infection and they had not been vaccinated.
“I also regret to confirm that one very sick lady had passed away because of an existing serious conditions and she also had COVID-19,” Mr Sogavare said.
He said the number of positive cases represent 44 per cent of all samples tested yesterday.
“This is an extremely high slide positivity rate which means we are not testing enough. Normal slide positivity rate agreed by the World Health Organisation is up to 5 per cent. This means we are only catching a small portion of the positive cases.
“The true number of positives could exceed 500 new cases per day,” the Prime Minister said.
He said a serious concern is that more than 50 staff of the National Referral Hospital are positive for COVID-19.
“The National Referral Hospital is therefore, closed for normal services. It will only take emergencies until further notice,” the Prime Minister said.
With regards to new cases in Ontong Java, Mr Sogavare said no update is provided because there are no testing facilities there.
However, he said from feedback from the advanced team on the ground, many more people in both Pelau and Luaniua are suffering from flu-like symptoms and many are currently sick.