A total of 104 passengers are expected to arrive at Henderson International airport tonight, 10:15pm local time.
The Solomon Airlines Airbus A320 left Honiara 9:00am yesterday, brief stop-over at Biak Airport in Indonesia and then to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, China. The airbus follows the same route for the return trip.
A statement from National Disaster Council (NDC) said that prior for boarding, all incoming passengers have conducted 3 sets of COVID-19 tests which were sent to SIG-Oversight Committee COVID-19 response and the Ministry of Health to determine their health status for approval.
“This test have been conducted days prior to undertaking the journey.
“All results turns out negative which gives the greenlight to board the special flight,” the statement said.
The statement also clarified that a risk-assessment has been conducted which China categorized as ‘low risk’- record of low virus infections.
Camp Management Sector and supporting agencies are prepared to receive the arrivals.
“Upon arrival, they should provide the latest proof of their negative tests and taken to government-managed Quarantine Stations (QS’s).
“Whilst in quarantine, all passengers are required to undergo another swab test within the first 48 hours and 2 additional tests for duration of the 14-days quarantine period,” the statement said adding that it all depending on health monitoring, there is possibility for extension of their stay beyond the mandated 14-days.
For Solomon Islands, the norm for all repatriation flights; incoming passengers are advised to wear facemasks, hygiene practices on the flight and during disembarkation to the stations.
NDC statement said that currently, a total of 21 returning nationals are half-way through to completion of their 14-days quarantine period. They are part of the batch of returnees repatriated last week.
“Arrivals on this first China flight will be accommodated in hotels isolated from the current returnees.
“All Standard Operating Procedures are adhered to ensuring there is no breach of the quarantine rules as set out in the regulations.
“The Camp Management, Health Surveillance and Clinical teams will ensure that there is zero contact between the quarantine persons,” the statement said.
21 Solomon Islands nationals are amongst these incoming passengers. The rest are foreigners who will be engaged in the SP Games 2023 facility preparations and diplomatic officials of Peoples Republic of China recently established embassy office here.
So far, more than 800 nationals and dozens of foreign nationals (exempted for essential service support) have entered the country since the first declared State of Public Emergency in March 24th. To this date, the country’s Solomon Airlines has conducted a total of 8 repatriation flights to neighbouring Pacific Island countries.
Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) continues to lead the Government’s multi-sectoral approach to stem COVID-19 infiltration on our shores. All government agencies and stakeholders are providing the required support through the National Disaster Operations Committee (N-DOC) and Provincial Disaster Operations Committee (P-DOC) Sectors.
N-DOC Camp Management Sector Committee maintains and continues to manage all the government approved QS’s in Honiara and Western Province.
The Solomon Islands remains COVID-19 FREE to date. The Government remains committed to implementing strict measures to prevent the importation and potential spread of COVID-19 within its borders.
Meanwhile, the NDC arrangement remains the country’s response coordination mechanism for the COVID-19 pandemic.