CONTACT tracing on the extent of community transmission of COVID-19 in Honiara has identified COVID-19 cases in more than 20 locations in Honiara and in two provinces.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his fifth address on the COVID-19 situation in Honiara this afternoon (Saturday 22nd January) said the reason the virus has spread so quickly in only one week is because people infected are moving freely.
“…people that are infected with the virus are moving freely and taking it with them and infecting other people on their way or infecting their families,” he said.
The locations as revealed by the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare are; Abira, Borderline, Burns Creek, Fijian Quarter, Point Cruz, Gilbert Camp, Ranadi, Jackson Ridge, Lau Valley, Lord Howe Settlement, Mamulele, Mbaranamba, Mbokona, Mbokonavera 3, Mbua Valley, Naha Heights, Naha 3, Nggossi, Rove, Sisiga, Talise, Tasahe B, Vura 3, West Kola, White River, Zion, Good Samaritan Hospital catchment area in Guadalcanal Province, Ontong Java and Auki in Malaita Province.
Mr Sogavare said this means the virus has already covered the whole of Honiara and has gone outside Honiara area to the GPPOL and CDC area.
He said currently the Lord Howe Settlement is under a localised lockdown – a no-go-zone for the public.
He said very soon other hotspots will undergo lockdown as the justification arises because the best way to reduce the spread of the virus now is to reduce movements.
“I ask all members of the public to remain in your houses and go out only if you need to buy food, water, power, medicines or go to clinics or to work while observing COVID-19 safe practice,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Sogavare said the Ministry of Health is still undertaking an assessment to determine the origins of the outbreak in Honiara.
He said based on current evidence, the outbreak in Ontong Java started before the outbreak in Honiara.
“We also confirm that all the cases in Honiara have been traced to travellers that came back from Ontong Java to Honiara.
“We also know from information provided by the Solomon Islands Maritime Authority that three other vessels arrived in Honiara from Ontong Java prior to the arrival of MV Akwa on 10th January 2022,” he said.
The vessels are Liberty 3 which arrived in Honiara from Luaniua on 16th December 2021, MV Carolina which arrived in Savo Islands on 30th December 2021 and likely preceded to Honiara and MV Ocean Joy which arrived in Honiara from Luaniua on 29th December 2021.
The Prime Minister said there is also a fourth vessel known as PWI-12 which went directly from Ontong Java to Choiseul Province between mid-December 2021 and mid-January 2022.
“While we have been able to link the vast majority of the positive COVID-19 cases to passengers and crews of MV Akwa, a small number are linked to an earlier vessel either MV Carolina or MV Ocean Joy.
“We are concerned about MV PWI-12 that went directly to Choiseul from Ontong Java.
“I call on the health team in Choiseul Province to check on this vessel and take journey history and associated checks to ensure it is free from COVID-19. Our team will also check on the three vessels that came to Honiara to assess the COVID-19 risk on each of them and their crew,” Mr Sogavare said.
Solomon Islands total number of COVID-19 positive cases today stands at 289.