Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said on Saturday that only contact tracing will determine the origins of the current covid outbreak in Honiara.
Since the first announcement of a locally diagnosed covid case in Honiara Tuesday this week, several commentaries have been made in relation to the origins of the outbreak.
The Ministry of Health is still undertaking an assessment to determine the origins of the outbreak in Honiara.
However, based on current evidence, Government Authorities confirmed that the outbreak in Ontong Java started before the outbreak in Honiara.
“We also confirm that all the cases in Honiara have been traced to travelers that came from Ontong Java to Honiara,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.
Since the outbreak in Ontong Java has started well before the outbreak in Honiara, a number of vessels traveling from that region apart from MV Awka on January 10 are suspected of carrying infected passengers.
According to the Solomon Islands Maritime Authority, three other vessels arrived in Honiara from Ontong Java prior to the arrival of MV Awka on 10th January 2022. These vessels are:
A fourth vessel, known as PWI-2 went directly from Ontong Java to Choiseul province between mid-December 2021 and mid-January 2022.
The health team in Choiseul province are tasked to check on this vessel to determine its journey history and associated checks to ensure it is free from COVID-19.
Health Authorities have been able to link the vast majority of the positive COVID-19 cases to passengers and crew of MV Awka while a small number are linked to an earlier vessel – either MV Carolina or MV Ocean Joy.
Health Authorities are pursuing passengers and crew of these three vessels to assess the COVD-19 risk on them.