Country receives final two COVID-19 test results
BY MOFFAT MAMU
GOVERNMENT through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services has confirmed the two remaining samples for the suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) have returned negative.
In a statement yesterday the Ministry of Health said; “the ministry is pleased to finally receive results of the remaining two COVID-19 suspected case samples that were sent to Australia and again the samples came back negative with no detection of coronavirus.”
The country has a total of 13 suspected COVID-19 samples that have been sent overseas for testing.
All of them returned negative bringing the country zero cases to date.
The country is amongst 15 countries around the world that is free from the invisible but deadly killer.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Pauline McNeil in a statement yesterday during a talkback show said the country is one of a few countries that are yet free from COVID 19.
She said despite the pleasing result, the ministry is not going to give up the fight to prevent and protect its nationals.
She reminds the public; “this is no time for complacency and we must continue to fight together in this fight.”
Mrs.McNeil also reminds local citizens living at the borders of Solomon Islands to adhere to authorities’ advice.
“COVID-19 is not in the country, it can only be imported, therefore people living in our borders must keep away from going to nearby countries via outboard motors or other means. The ministry will continue to do its best to prevent the rotation of this pandemic disease.”
The ministry continues to appeal to the general public to avoid rumors, misleading information and speculation but instead obtain accurate and correct information from the government.
MHMS will continue to work together with other government ministries, partners, churches, NGOs and stakeholders to ensure our country is protected from coronavirus, the PS said.
“Let us all join hands together to fight COVID-19. We are all in this together,” she said.
On Friday Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare acknowledged the country still maintains its COVID-19 free status and remains amongst the few nations world over that have yet to record a positive case.
“This feat cannot be maintained by the Government alone, it is, however, a testament to our collective efforts,” he said.
As such, the government combined with each and every individual must remain united and vigilant against COVID-19 this common enemy, he said.
He assured that his government will continue to take drastic and proactive measures to protect its citizens.
“With the greatest of humility, I urge us all to continue to be united in this fight against COVID-19,” he said.
He said his government has taken an inclusive approach towards its combat against COVID-19.
“As I speak now, specialised teams led by the ministry of health are out in the provincial centres to assess potential quarantine and isolation sites. A team is currently in Gizo and Noro.
“The same process was conducted for Malaita Province last week and teams are also in the process of being deployed to other provinces,” he said.
He further announced that the government-funded equilibrator for National Referral Hospital’s (NRH) Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has been delivered and set up.
He also acknowledged the New Zealand Government for funding a COVID 19 X-Ray machine.
The United States Government has helped to airlift the machine to Honiara last week.
“We are grateful to New Zealand for providing is now being set up at the Isolation Ward of the NRH,” he said.
The remaining medical equipment and kits are currently transiting through Australia and due to arrive in the coming days, Mr.Sogavare said.
These include those from Australia the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and other parts of the region.
“With most of the equipment now being delivered, NRH will very soon have the capacity to do in-country testing,” he said
He added PRC has also donated laboratory equipment and reagents, coronavirus test kits and personal protective equipment.
Many of these equipment and PPEs will arrive in the country soon by air and by sea and others will continue to arrive in due course, the PM said.
“The support covers lab equipment, testing kits, Medical gloves, Personal Protective Equipment, various masks, medical, surgical and N95 Infrared thermometers and medical goggles,” he said.
Mr.Sogavare further extended his sincere appreciation to all other bilateral partners and donors including Australia and New Zealand who are continuously supporting the government during this trying time.
Meanwhile, PS McNeil has encouraged the public to remain vigilant and continue to practice good health hygiene practices.
“These includes washing of hands regularly with soap, cover cough and sneezes, avoid overcrowding gatherings, keep away at least 1meter – 2 meters away from sick people or use mask if you are sick or looking after sick person.
“These health hygiene practices can always keep us safe from COVID-19,” she said.