The Covid-19 risk to the Solomon Islands because of the Delta variant is greater than ever before
Dr.Jimmy Rodgers, the secretary to the Hon, Prime Minister, speaking just days ago in a radio talk-back programme said the Covid-19 variant of the virus known as the Delta variant is deadly and lurking close offshore in neighboring Fiji where it is spreading and causing deaths.
Dr Rodgers said the key message to Solomon Islanders was to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
There can be no ignoring Dr Rogers critical advice for today, Wednesday; the situation in Fiji is serious with 302 fresh cases yesterday and nine deaths. There were 591cases on Monday and 6 deaths,
Statistics released from the health authorities in Fiji indicate –
· 44,420 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021
· 44,490 cases in Fiji since the first case were reported in March 2020, with 24,855 recoveries.
We know of course that the Delta variant of Covid-19 is present in NSW, with rising infections daily, in Victoria in parts of Queensland, in PNG and in New Zealand.
Lockdowns are continuing in NSW, in NSW and in parts of Fiji.
In Australia citizens have recently been turning out in their thousands to get vaccinated and mass vaccinations are continuing in New Zealand,
In Fiji 90 percent of the population has already received their first vaccination.
At home in the Solomon Islands a total of 73,780 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered so far, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says.
The Prime Minister said the total doses include both Sinopharm and AstraZeneca 1st and 2nd doses.
He said over the past five weeks, from July 17 to August 20, 2021, a total of 38,118 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered, compared to 35,662 doses in the 16 weeks between the launch on March 23 to July 17 this year.
Mr. Sogavare said this represented an average of 7,623 vaccination doses administered per week, compared to an average of 2,220 doses administered per week, in the 16 weeks between March 23 to July 17, 2021.
“Let me thank all of you, members of the public for turning out in numbers to get your vaccination doses. Please let us keep driving our vaccination efforts together to ensure as many as possible are vaccinated as soon as possible. That is the surest way to protect our children that cannot be vaccinated,” he said.
The Prime Minister said at least 18,217 people have received their 2nd dose of vaccine.
He said they are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“They are now safe from falling severely ill or from hospitalization or even death from COVID-19 in the event of a community transmission,” he said.
The Prime Minister said these 18,217 individuals, representing only 4.4 percent of the total eligible population of 414,327 people, will slow down community transmission and protect children below 18 years of age.
“We need to increase this percentage to above 80 % to be able to protect those that cannot be vaccinated,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said a further 37,346 (9.0%) people have received their first doses and are expected to get their second doses.
“Please ensure that you return for your second dose on the time written on your cards or 7 – 14 days before or after the date on your cards,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said 8.8 percent of the target population in Honiara and Guadalcanal province has been fully vaccinated.
For Choiseul province 10.1% and for Western province 4.1 percent.
“Nationally 13.4% of the eligible population have received either one or 2 doses of COVID vaccine. We will continue to provide updates on the progress each week,” he said.
The COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in Honiara, Western, Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Malaita, and Central Provinces are continuing.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the vaccination launch also kicked off in Isabel Province today.
The roll out in Renbel province will start on August 30.
Sources: OPMC PRESS, Island Sun newspaper and Radio New Zealand.
The turnout for vaccinations in Malaita was very impressive and the community is congratulated. I hope there will be a similar high turn - out in Isabel, Central Islands, Renbel, Choiseul. Guadalcanal and Western Province.