Solomon Islands getting much needed help in tackling COVID-19
Following an urgent request from the Solomon Islands government, the Australian Government is funding the procurement and early delivery of a new COVID -19 testing machine to allow for in-country testing in the Solomon Islands.
The machine is expected to be sent from Australia this week.
In a press statement made available today, Wednesday, the Australian High Commission in Honiara said:
“The Australia High Commission, World Health Organisation (WHO) and Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) are working together to get the testing machine and critical items to Solomon Islands on the first available cargo flight.
“The new PCR machine will be able to test 15 to 30 specimens in an approximately 45-minute turnaround to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.
“Australia funded the machine at the request of the Solomon Islands Government.
Australia will also provide a package of additional critical items to ensure high quality testing and infection control. This includes an autoclave machine to destroy contaminated waste.
“Australian High Commissioner Dr Lachlan Strahan said the Australian Government recognised early detection of COVID-19 would be essential for Solomon Islands’ work in preventing and managing any potential community transmission of the virus.
“This is a holistic response to support COVID-19 testing in Solomon Islands,” he said.
“Our close partnership with WHO and MHMS has enabled Australia to respond to the need for a new machine, as well as the technical expertise and training support to be delivered along with it.”
Source: Australian High Commission, Honiara
Meanwhile in a separate development, Guangdong Province of the People’s Republic of China has expressed its commitment to provide support to the government and people of Solomon Islands.
The pledge of support was made in light of the proactive but necessary measures taken by the Solomon Islands Government to fight against the potential entry and/or spread of the COVID-19 into the country.
A statement from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Honiara stated Guangdong Province is now in the process of donating several thousand facial masks and a few hundred protective garments to the Solomon Islands.
“They will put those things on another ship from Guangdong to Honiara.”
The Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has also donated USD$300,000 to the Solomon Islands
The PRC Government through its embassy in Honiara has assured the Solomon Islands Government that they stand ready to assist us further in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister & Cabinet said the PRC funding donation would enable the Solomon Islands Government to strengthen and improve its capability to fight against the entry and spread of COVID-19.
Source: Solomon Star News