20 January 2022
According to the Islands Sun newspaper today, Thursday, the country has recorded 48 newcases of Covid-19 from 8am yesterday to 8am this morning.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said this is the largest increase in the number of covid-19 cases recorded so far.
Those affected in the latest surge in numbers include staff and patients at the Emergency department of the National Referral Hospital.
47 of the recorded cases are linked to the MV Awka passenger that was announced yesterday, while health authorities are investigating the source of infection for the 48th case.
Prime Minister Sogavare explained that from the 48 cases recorded:
28 cases are from a vessel that was exposed to passengers from Ongtong Java on another vessel and were returning to Ongtong Java.
· 9 cases are family members of the one person from arrived from Ongtong Java on January 10th and was tested positive on Tuesday night.
· 4 are staff of the Solomon Islands Maritime Authority and Island Enterprise Limited who had come in contact with the crew and a passenger from the vessel that arrived on January 10th.
· 2 cases are recorded from the Lord Howe Settlement.
· 1 from the Rove Police headquarters.
· 9 cases from the Emergency Department of the National Referral Hospital, 3 staff and 6 patients.
The Prime Minister warned that some passengers of the vessel that arrived on January 10th have already travelled to other provinces including Noro and Santa-Catalina in Makira
The Captain also disembarked after arriving and attended a funeral somewhere on Guadalcanal.
The Prime Minister said the latest cases and movements of passengers and crew of the vessel simply means these people could have already spread the virus.
He stressed the importance of tracing people following covid-19 measures and urged those not vaccinated to do so in the earliest time.
The Prime Minister further warned that the number of infections is bound to increase.
With the current COVID-19 community transmission in Honiara and ongoing response, the National Referral Hospital (NRH) is only accepting emergency, accidents and referral cases.
For all accidents and emergency cases that need to be urgently brought to the hospital one can call St John Ambulance on the following numbers, 111, 911 or 7136000 or NRH emergency operation center on phone 21068.
There is also an option of bringing emergency cases to the hospital using private vehicles however this must be communicated first to the police on phone 27893 or 27895, to ensure smooth movement to the hospital.
All non- emergency cases and those not flu related must go to Kukum and Rove clinics in Honiara during this lockdown period for consultation and to receive treatment.
For all flu like illnesses, runny nose, coughing etc. do not move but call the National Health Emergency Operation Centre (NHEOC) on toll free line 115 or 25256 so a health team can be dispatched to your location for assessment and further instructions and actions.
All deaths at the hospital are taken directly to the morgue and bodies will remain there until after the lockdown where families can come to collect their loved ones.
Deaths from home can be transported to the hospital however due to the lockdown, you are advised to liaise with the police for movement to the morgue. Due to the morgue’s holding capacity of only 15 bodies, the hospital is working on additional storage space should it become necessary
Under the emergency mode, the NRH hospital is also limiting movements in and out of the hospital with gate security personnel strictly controlling the number of people entering the hospital and flow of caregivers of the sick admitted at the hospital.
The NRH kindly advises families who have their loved ones admitted at the hospital to plan and schedule at least only one caregiver to provide care and assistance for the sick admitted in the hospital wards.
For anyone visiting the hospital, all are strongly advised to wear face masks and ensure all other COVID-19 – safe measures are practiced while at the hospital such as frequent hand washing with soap or hand sanitizer, coughing or sneezing into elbows and maintaining social distancing of at least 2 meters from another person.
The Public are strongly advised to share the information and adhere to the instructions outlined as much as possible to ensure that we continue to respond to the community transmission of COVID-19 and maintain health services as safe as possibly can be done
Sources –MHMS and Island Sun newspaper.