THE Ministry of Health and Medical Services is engaging more than 70 nursing graduates from the Solomon Islands National University to assist in the current COVID-19 outbreak in Honiara.
Minister of Health and Medical Services Dr Culwick Togamana in his address this afternoon (Monday 31st January) said these are nurses who respond to the government’s call for additional manpower.
Dr Togamana said work had started in sorting these nursing graduates for deployment at the National Referral Hospital and the Honiara City Council.
“They will assist with response to the current community transmission of COVID-19 and vaccination rollout,” the Minister said.
He said vaccination roll out has also started today.
“…Honiara has resumed vaccination today after a very busy week last week many of our vaccinators in Honiara have also tested positive for COVID-19 and are instructed to stand down – a reason why vaccination commenced at 11am today.
“Over the weekend the remaining negatives have regrouped, reorganised themselves for rollout this week,” Dr Togamana said.
However, the Minister said while the vaccination roll out continues in Honiara members of the public going to the vaccination sites are strongly asked to do the following;• ensure you wear facemasks , • maintain social distancing of at least 1m to 2 metres and • frequently wash hands with hand sanitizers
He warned that if these simply safety measures are not practiced, the vaccination sites could become an avenue for spreading COVID-19 infection.
With regard’s the MHMS support to the provinces, the Minister said his ministry is also working with health teams in the provinces to continue providing necessary support to them.
These include the deployment of 10,000 Rapid Antigen Test kits, thousands of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and medications.
“…as of today (Monday 31st January) 10,000 Rapid Antigen Test kits will be deployed by Solomon Airlines to the provinces to test for COVID-19 as part of strengthening surveillance and monitoring of the spread of the virus across the country.
“Necessary medications are also included in the shipment to manage symptoms of COVID-19 and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in thousands as well,” the Minister said.
He said COVID-19 community transmission is in Honiara, Malaita outer Islands and it is spreading to our provinces.
“…we are all advice to strictly adhere to COVID-19 public health measures and those who are yet to get their COVID-19 vaccination to get it now.
“Let us all work together as we are in this together as one community and one family. One loss is too many for all of us already. Let us tackle this current situation with God’s guidance and protection,” the Minister said.