Contact tracing and testing of people in communities exposed to covid-19 is necessary to identify infected people and to help authorities enforce lockdowns in potential hotspots.
Health and Medical Services Minister Dr, Culwick Togamana made this clarification on Tuesday in response to social media commentaries on this exercise recently.
He said community transmission is not nation-wide but only happened in certain parts of the country and contact tracing and testing is the only way to determine the scale and trend of transmission.
“Contact tracing is continuing to help authorities know possible areas that might need attention and deployment of key messages to ensure any possible transmission in those areas are curbed at the earliest,” Dr Togamana said.
A total of 1,790 tests were performed since the COVID-19 community transmission was declared on Wednesday 19 January 2022.
The COVID-19 molecular laboratory continues testing and authorities are deploying additional capacity to Kilu’ufi hospital in Malaita with laboratory equipment to commence testing there.
Dr Togamana further announced that health authorities will soon start mass testing in the capital starting with high- risk zones in Honiara and other Provincial hotspots.
People have been encouraged to self-isolate at home if they feel sick with symptoms such as fever, cough, running nose and body aches and call hotline numbers 115 or 25256 to seek attention for testing.