Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has announced a new covid-19 case on Sunday, which brings the country’s total registered cases to 19 since the global outbreak early last year.
The initial 18 cases recorded since last year were all cleared and patients discharged back into their communities.
The new positive case was picked up from an incoming foreign national who arrived from Papua New Guinea on the ‘high-risk’ flight from Brisbane on Friday afternoon. The person transited through Brisbane on the way to Honiara after going through three negative tests prior to departing from Papua New Guinea.
This positive case shows that even when a traveler fulfils the Government’s pre-departure quarantine tests, they can still test positive when they enter the country.
“This is the reason we have a standing policy to test every person that come from a high-risk country such as Papua New Guinea on arrival,” Sogavare said.
In addition to this positive case, health authorities are closely watching another passenger that travelled together with this person as part of a group of five people travelling together on that flight.
Both the positive person and the suspicious case had been transferred to the NRH Isolation unit on the night of arrival, which pose no risk to the community from this new positive case.
Health Authorities have commenced investigations into this positive case and the other travelers in the group to ascertain further information, including if any of them had provided misleading information in their application to enter the country.
Sogavare praised our frontline workers for actively executing the Government’s covid-19 policy.
“While it is sad that we have picked up another positive case 44-day after the last positive test, I must congratulate our front-liners for diligently executing our standing policy which picked up this person on arrival.
The Ministry of Health requires all incoming passengers to fill a pre-departure risk assessment 5 days prior to travel so that they can also undertake other risk assessments of all travelers that enters the country.
The country’s ‘testing on arrival policy’ for any passenger that arrives from a high-risk country, supplemented by another test taken 5 days after arrival, are designed to pick up any infection that could have occurred in the 5-7 day-period prior to the passengers’ departure to Solomon Islands.