PM in his nationwide address on Monday said the two new cases were from a PNG registered Landing Craft, MV Kopi Chief that arrived from Lae recently, chartered by a private company in Honiara.
Prime Minister Sogavare said this brings the total number of crews from Papua New Guinea (PNG) diagnosed with COVID-19 on arrival in Solomon Islands from cargo vessels to three.
He said, the Oversight Committee Vessel Exemption Committee identified a serious COVID-19 risk and directed that all the 14-crew members must be tested for COVID-19.
“The instruction to test the crews was taken despite all 14 crew members having tested negative for COVID-19 at Lae, on 7th May 2021, the day the vessel departed from Lae to travel to Honiara,” he said.
The Prime Minister said because of the decision to re-test all the crew members here, authorities have established that two of the 14-crew members on board tested positive for COVID-19.
“This vessel has been put into immediate quarantine. No one is allowed to board the vessel without the permission of the Incident Controller, and no one from the vessel is allowed to disembark,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the two positive cases are currently isolated on the vessel, while our health team for execution develops a vessel and cargo containment and decontamination plan.
“I commend the Vessel Exemption Committee and the Ministry of Health for the excellent job in protecting our country,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare clarified that, as with the first Conveyance case from the cargo vessel MV Chefoo, these two cases will not be reflected under our national figures, which remain at 20 cases.