CONCERNS are growing on the extent of the spread of COVID-19 in Noro, Western Province after two trainee nurses tested positive to COVID-19 yesterday.
Western Province Health and Medical Services acting director (WPHMS) Dr Michael Belande Buin confirmed the results during a meeting with the Provincial Emergency Oversight Committee (PEOC), Premier of Western Province, Acting Provincial Police Commander (PPC), MPA for Gizo Ward and the Western Provincial Secretary and the National Disaster Management (NDMO) Gizo Office yesterday.
According to Dr Buin, the Western Province health team went to Noro on Thursday 27th January to conduct a Repeat Diagnose Training (RDT) for the frontliners in Noro.
“This training was a refresher but it was important to give our swab frontliners more confidence,” he said.
He said swabs were collected from the participants and two were tested in Gizo.
“From that two tests which are now positive it gives us some proof that the virus is already prevalent and spreading in Noro,” the director said.
Dr Buin said the trainee nurses are working at Soltuna Clinic.
Soltuna is one of the largest revenue contributors to Western Province and the country and there are fears that with COVID-19 community transmission in Noro, it might force the company to suspend its services.
Dr Buin said there is also a surge in common flu-like illnesses in Noro at the moment.
Therefore, he said the virus could already be a threat for the big Noro population.
“At the moment, the virus is already in the community, so this is a very big threat…we have very limited resources to run COVID-19 tests for the whole population in Western Province,” Dr Buin said.
He said samples taken from the rest of the participants attending the RDT training in Noro are being tested and results will be made known soon.
He also added that results for the samples collected from crew members of two vessels in Gizo on Thursday this week are still to be released.
By ULUTAH GINA
GIZO NEWS BUREAU