Solomons capital in lockdown, possible Covid-19 community transmission

Solomons capital in lockdown, possible Covid-19 community transmission

Posted by : Frank Short Posted on : 20-Jan-2022

20 January 2022

The Solomon Islands capital is reported to be in lockdown after the discovery of a positive Covid-19 case in the community in Honiara.

 Earlier this week Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare warned the country to expect the rapid spread of Covid-19 and deaths from the virus.

This was after confirmation that six out of 10 people who had illegally entered the country into Pelau in Ontong Java had tested positive for Covid-19.

The lockdown in the capital was initiated after a passenger on a ferry that travelled from Ontong Java to Honiara tested positive for the virus.

Contact tracing is underway for everyone who was onboard the vessel, MV Awka.

The lockdown for Honiara started at 6pm on Wednesday and will run until 6am on Saturday.

Police deputy commissioner of operations Juanita Matanga said the lockdown boundaries extended from Poha Bridge in Northwest Guadalcanal to Alligator Creek just past the airport in the east.

"I call on all communities in Honiara to adhere to health protocols and cooperate with each other to protect our family, community and the country as we try to manage the transmission of Covid-19 in our communities," Ms.Matanga said.

Ms.Matanga said police would be out and about should anyone need assistance, but she also reiterated the gravity of the situation.

"It is a lockdown and police will arrest and charge those who breach it. I ask you, my good people in Honiara, to stay home during the lockdown. Other essential services will be exempted and work during the lockdown period to attend other essential services."

Meanwhile, a foreign national on a recent flight from Australia has also tested positive for Covid-19 taking the Solomons tally of cases to 32.

Source. Solomon Times Online.


With fast spread of the Omnicom variant of the COVID-19 virus it is inevitable that there should have occurred the reported case of Covid-19 in the Solomon Islands as the SI has a porous border in Ongtong Java and despite the SOE arrangements in situ in the country it seemed to me to be just a matter of time before the Covid-19 virus would penetrate into the country. That said, however, it is presumably still to be confirmed if the virus has been found positive in the capital, and the variant type.

The Prime Minister has been consistent for many months in warning of the threat posed by COVID-19 and the MHMS has given out similar warning and advice.

Let us hope the containment, contact tracing and lockdown steps now underway will stop the virus in its tracks, but what has happened must ensure everyone must aside any selfish attitudes to getting themselves vaccinated against Covid as soon as possible.

Becoming fully vaccinated offers the best chance of preventing getting the COVID-19 virus and aids the recovery of anyone vaccinated that does somehow get infected from it.

In the present circumstances one can be tempted to say, ‘I told you so,’ and no one less that the PM and all those , including myself, that have constantly pleaded for people to get themselves vaccinate before there occurred a breach of the SOE Rules.

Now we must hope for the best and trust no one will become so ill and die from the pandemic, the NRH will not be inundated with urgent hospitalizations, the front-liners and the medical staff now having to deal with the new Covid cases will themselves be safe.

I repeat everyone that remains unvaccinated; please do so for your own health and safety, but for the majority.

Footnote ****

As just reported in the SI (as i have just finished composing this letter 45 new cases of COVID-19 have been claimed to have occured at home in a flash notice sent out by the Island Sun newspaper.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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