Excerpt from Health Minister’s COVID-19 Update National Address Thursday 31st March 2022
The current global epidemiological situation is characterized by rapid and relatively synchronous dominance of Omicron variant across the World. While global cases are declining, there are reduced testing resources and capacities in some areas and the epidemiological situation remains mixed, Omicron and BA2, subvariant of Omicron, continues to pose increasing threat to Solomon Islands.
Considering the geographic proximity, and frequent travel between Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam and in particular permeable border with Papua New Guinea, there is an increasing threat of importation of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and BA2 in Solomon Islands.
For the current Delta variant, the testing strategy and practices and decreased number of cases in Honiara, provided that the decrease is not merely reflecting a change in the surveillance strategy and policy guidance, the overall risk of COVID-19 transmission due to Delta strain is considered low.
If public health measures are eased there will be minimal increase in community transmission in places like Honiara due to DELTA strain but high increase in case of Omicron and other variants such as BA2.
The overall risk of COVID-19 in Solomon Islands if community transmission occurs and appropriate physical distancing measures are not taken, is currently considered moderate for the general population (moderate probability of infection and low impact of disease) and very high for Omicron variant (very high probability of infection and higher mortality)
Hence it is important to continue to observe COVID-19 safety measures and protocols such as social distancing, wearing of masks, and frequent handwashing. It is extremely important to get vaccinated as this is an extremely important intervention and ammunition to protect us against severe disease and deaths.