Covid-19 scare in Malaita shows low community transmission
PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare calls on the citizens and in particular the people of Malaita Province to remain calm and allow health professionals to complete their analysis.
He made the call when he delivered his statement in a special nationwide address yesterday, regarding recent reports of a student who returned from the Philippines who was tested positive this week, during a follow-up test in Malaita.
The incident caused panic and fear in Malaita but the Ministry of Health Emergency Operation acted swiftly to control and then contain it.
“After we know of the results of the swabs collected from the student’s village in Malaita we will be in a better much better position to provide further focussed advice,” Sogavare said yesterday.
He firmly reminds the nation that at this points his government’s view that there is no possible community transmission.
“Let me assure the nation that as of this moment, we do not have any evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in the Solomon Islands. Therefore there is no need for any lockdown in any part of the country.
“Our front liners have the situation covered and I commend them for their rapid response to locate and admit the student and for moving very quickly on contact tracing,” Sogavare said.
He further stated that the results from the swabs taken from the individual student’s village within 24 to 48 hours after they arrived at the molecular laboratory at the National Referral Hospital, Thursday.
“We will then come to you (public) at that point on further updates on this situation,” he added.
Meanwhile, a report from Kilu’ufi Hospital has confirmed that specimen from family members of the student was sent to Honiara for further tests.
Information reaching Solomon Star Auki said that a team from Kilu’ufi hospital went to East Fataleka where they carried out specimen test on family members who the student was believed to have come in contact with them.
Malaita Province is anticipating the return of the results as the province is in a state of panic following rumours that Malaita is at high risk as the suspected covid-19 patient has spent his Christmas in Malaita mingling with the public and members of his family.
However, while information from the Ministry of Health & Medical Services stated that the result of the student returns to negative, the public in Auki received the announcement with mixed feelings.
Solomon Star understands that following the recent incident, the Kilu’ufi hospital Covid-19 committee organized an urgent meeting on Friday, to discuss the matter.
By ANDREW FANASIA & WILSON SAENI