25 April 2022
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) has recorded another 1,226 new COVID-19 cases over the past 72 hours, bringing the total case count to 14,182.
In her remarks at during the COVID-19 Oversight Committee talk back show yesterday, Mrs. Pauline McNeil Health Permanent Secretary said that 1037 of these cases detected are from Honiara where large-scale community transmission is ongoing.
“Total in Honiara is 6,662 with 1105 cases added in current 2nd wave since April 13”.
With provincial COVID case updates, Mrs. McNeil also announced Temotu province the only province to have remained COVID-19 free since the start of the outbreak has now recorded its first seven (7) cases.
“Temotu Province for the first time since the outbreak in January recorded its first 7 COVID-19 cases following COVID-19 testing done yesterday. This is expected due to community transmission across the country and movements of people to and from the province.
“All these cases were in the incoming 14 passengers who travelled from Honiara to Temotu and were detected in quarantine. All their close contacts have also been quarantined and further investigations are on. At present there is no evidence of community transmission of COVID in Temotu”, explained Mrs. McNeil.
For all other provinces she highlighted new cases in the past 72 hours and the total case count as of Sunday 24th.
- Malaita province, 11 new cases detected, total case count to 1103
- Guadalcanal – 81 new cases, total case count 711
- Western –Report for last 3 days not received. Total remains at 2107, although confirmed figures will be made once verification process is complete.
- Choiseul – 7 new cases, total case count 463
- Isabel – 27 new cases, total case count 1027
- Makira – No report received on new cases, total case count 1203
- Renbel – 2 new cases, total case count 222
- Central Islands - 61 new cases Total 674
In terms of hospitalization, the Health Permanent Secretary cautioned the public of the high transmission rate within the hospital amongst patients. Despite the high number of cases inside the hospital, the majority only experience mild symptoms with only 3 patients needing oxygen.
“NRH is currently managing 17 COVID-19 patients in its COVID-19 ward. 3 out from the 17 cases are severe cases needing oxygen. However, many other patients admitted at other NRH wards, for other health issues have also tested positive, 70 plus in total including 35 in the Emergency Department.
“These patients at this stage are considered to be mild and primarily being treated for their other health conditions while IPC (infection, prevention and control) measures in place to mitigate further spread to other COVID-19 negative patients”, said Mrs. McNeil.
Source: Press Release and republished by Solomon Times Online.
I had the impression that local cases of Covid were declining in Honiara but the latest report seems to prove otherwise and perhaps the explanation of travel movements to the capital by people from other provinces, as identified by Mrs. McNeil, l gives a clue to the rise in Covid infections
One correspondent writing from Honiara last week told me there was little evidence of face masks being used or social distancing guidelines being observed.
I have no way of telling if any of the correspondent’s comments are true, but while there still remains high levels of Covid cases in the provinces, in large part, I hope there has not been a relaxation in precautions against catching the Covid virus and that some might now see catching Covid as an “inevitable” part of life and so are taking fewer precautions than before.
The Solomon Islands needs to remain vigilant for the possible generation and spread of new variants that, like the BA.2 omicron sub variant, which could result in reinfections.
It would be wrong to assume that any new variant will be less infectious and less dangerous particularly as vaccine-induced immunity wanes and may not be as protective against these new variants.”
In support, Simon Williams, of Swansea University, has said. “My concern is that the pattern of infection spikes prompted by the ‘living with Covid’ strategy could continue to be repeated as further new variants emerge and as more people experience waning immunity. This is why it remains crucial to ensure that those most vulnerable groups have high vaccination rates and have booster shots.
Source. MSM (UK)