THE origin of the COVID-19 community transmission outbreak in Honiara is from Ontong Java and not from the foreign forces that were deployed to Honiara during the unrest in November last year.
Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr Jimmie Rodgers made this clarification following ongoing debate in the media and social media over the origin of the outbreak.
Speaking during the Radio Talk-Back Show this afternoon (Sunday 23rd January), Dr Rodgers said this has to be clarified so that we shift our focus back to containing and controlling the virus.
“…I can guarantee 110 per cent that none of this outbreak came from any of the people that came in.
“Why? All of them were tested every day for 14 days when they got into the country and they tested negative for all those days. After that they were tested every week and they test negative
“…we test them 14 times in 14 days and then after that every seven days and after that all of them are negative.
“To those who are circulating such information please stop misinforming the public.
“The origins of this virus does not come from the deployment of the foreign forces that came to assist us. So let us put that to rest. The origin of this outbreak is definitely from Ontong Java,” Dr Rodgers said.
The Secretary to the Prime Minister also spoke strongly against the stigmatisation of COVID-19 positive people.
He said COVID-19 is already all over Honiara.
“If you are in Nggossi there are hotspots in Nggossi, if you are in Tasahe there are hotspots there. It’s all over Honiara.
“The point I am making is that we should no longer be trying to say ‘don’t come here’. The point I am making now is to contain it, so if you are at your home, reduce movements, don’t go out because if you are infected you can infect others.
“If you are not infected and you go out, you have the potential to be infected and take it back home,” he said.
Dr Rodgers added that the Oversight Committee and the Ministry of Health are now looking into additional measures with the aim to reduce people’s movement to help contain the spread of COVID-19.