SOLOMON Islands now have community transmission of COVID 19 in Ontong Java after six cases are detected in Pelau Village.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare announced this morning (18th January 2022) that a total of seven new COVID 19 cases were diagnosed at the Molecular Laboratory bringing the total number of COVID 19 cases ever recorded in Solomon Islands to 32.
He said six of these new cases are in Pelau Village on Ontong Java and one is a foreign national that arrived from Brisbane, Australia, Friday last week.
He said according to the government’s contact tracing information the index case that brought in the infection to Pelau is a medical doctor from Papua New Guinea who hails from Tasman Island and has traditional ties with the people of Pelau.
“This doctor with nine other people including members of his family crossed the border illegally from Tasman to come to Pelau on 9th January 2022.
“It is very disturbing that such a highly qualified person – a medical doctor – blatantly disregarded our laws, breached our COVID 19 regulations and crossed our border illegally.
“He has now started a community transmission of COVID 19 to his relatives and people in Pelau,” Mr Sogavare said.
He said it is also extremely disappointing that relatives of this doctor in Pelau Village disregarded the instructions from the government to not allow any person from the other side of the border to land at or stay in any of their villages or homes.
“By allowing the doctor to enter the village they have provided the platform to start the community transmission of COVID 19 in Pelau.
“In this regard the relatives of this doctor have also breached the COVID 19 regulations by allowing this doctor and his family to land and stay in Pelau and start the community transmission of COVID 19,” the Prime Minister said.
He said the government focus now is to manage the community transmission of COVID 19 in Pelau and the rest of Ontong Java.