Four more new cases announced
By FOLLET JOHN
THE country has recorded four more new COVID cases after being declared Covid-free on Monday.
These positive cases were from four passengers who arrived from the repatriation flight on Sunday night.
About 136 passengers came on that particular flight which brought in passengers from Italy, France, England, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand.
About 22 passengers were swabbed and tested at the airport upon arrival on Sunday. Four of them were red-flagged and were immediately whisked into isolation.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare during his special nationwide address yesterday said; “Fellow citizens, I am sad to once again inform the nation that the four red-flagged returning nationals have been confirmed positive with Covid-19,” he said.
Mr. Sogavare revealed the four cases are from the 16 returning soccer players that returned from the United Kingdom.
They have been stranded since early this year, he said.
These COVID-19 patients are currently at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) Isolation Unit.
Prime Minister Sogavare also announced yesterday the remaining travellers from the United Kingdom, France, and Italy were also tested on Monday night.
“All of them have been quarantined in single rooms to minimize any potential spread should any of them become positive,” he said.
PM said those passengers who are considered to be high risk will be swabbed again on day five and six after the arrival as second rounds of tests, while the rest will be swabbed between day five and 10 in adherence to current protocols.
PM also warned that it is likely that during the second round of tests, the country might expect to pick a possible positive due to contact during the flight.
It was revealed that during contact tracing on these 16 players, not all questions were being answered truthfully.
PM said it was also being reported that one of the soccer players who were now positive refused to wear masks during the flight from Auckland to Honiara despite being told repeatedly.
Mr. Sogavare has lashed out at the player describing his action as; ‘selfish action.’
He said this has placed more passengers on board that flight at risk.
Two players were tested positive in the United Kingdom prior to departure and had to remain.
Of the total 31 players, about 17 players are still stuck in the UK awaiting their next available flight.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sogavare also assured the nation that there is still no need to worry about community transmission and a lockdown.
In light of the latest situation PM has also ordered that all illegal markets close to all quarantine and isolation stations be shutdown immediate effect.
The Honiara City Council, Guadalcanal provincial government, and the RSIPF have been asked to work together to enforce the closures immediately.
Prime Minister Sogavare also encouraged citizens to continue to pray for those in the quarantine and isolation stations.
It’s understood that the government is expected to give more updates throughout this week should the situation change.