BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
SOLOMON Islands has recorded three more positive covid-19 cases.
Of the three new cases, one is a student repatriated from the Philippines while the other two cases are footballers who returned from the United Kingdom.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his ‘nationwide address’ yesterday on the covid-19 situation said this now brings to 16, the total number of positive cases registered in Solomon Islands.
“Fellow citizens, I am saddened to inform the nation that we have recorded a further three cases of covid-19 since my last announcement. This now brings to 16, the total number of covid-19 cases registered in Solomon Islands,” said Sogavare.
“Of the three new cases, one is from the original group from the Philippines. This brings to five the total number of cases from the Philippines.
“The good news is that this 5th case has now converted to negative. This means that all five cases from the Philippines are now negative.
“The other two cases are footballers that returned from the United Kingdom. This brings to 10 the total number of footballers that have covid-19. Only six of the 16 footballers are still not infected.
“However, given the nature of the virus, we anticipate more positive among the footballers in the coming days. The saving grace is that all the footballers are quarantine in a separate quarantine station so they cannot infect others.
“Based on these numbers, we now have 11 confirmed covid-19 positive cases from the flight that arrived on October 25 from Auckland. 10 of these are footballers and one from Korea. All these 11 cases are still positive.”
According to the Prime Minister, it is sad that most of the positive cases resulted from dishonesty by Solomon Islands own citizens. He said they lied in their pre-departure assessment forms.
“As a result of the behaviour of few of our citizens that opened our country to this unprecedented increase in numbers of covid-19 cases, my government will hold these people responsible for endangering our people and our country,” said Sogavare.
“At the same time, the government is tightening up the pre-departure assessment form making it a ‘prescribed form’. This simply means that anyone who lies on the form will be prosecuted after their release from quarantine stations.”
Sogavare said the ‘Government’ has tried its best in good faith to bring its people back home but Solomon Islands very own people have not returned the good faith.
“Fellow citizens, as I stated before, covid-19 is not a game. Unfortunately, many of our returning soccer players and some of our returning students from Philippines seem not to realize the gravity of the situation,” said Sogavare.
“By their dishonest actions, they knowingly endangered our citizens and our country. Their selfish actions had increased the cost of our fight against Covid-19 substantially. It has also delayed the repatriation of the many deserving citizens that are still waiting to return home. This is extremely disappointing.
“Fellow Solomon Islanders, contact tracing of the positive cases and their assessments have been completed. I would like to reassure all our good people that your Government remains committed to implementing appropriate and strict measures to prevent the spread of covid-19 into our communities.”