BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
TEST results for the recent incident of MV Papa Mau that docked in Honiara on the 15th of July have been tested negative, Health minister Dr Culwick Togamana says.
“These test results are for both all primary and secondary contacts,” the minister added.
“We were fortunate enough that to date, all primary and secondary contacts have been tested negative for COVID-19, with further tests underway to fully rule out any COVID-19 threat,” he stated.
“Nevertheless, with efforts to keep the economy afloat at this difficult time, we cannot simply isolate ourselves from the rest of the world.
“Our engagements in international trade needs to continue thus, the ongoing entry of cargo flights and foreign commercial vessels to our ports.
“These however continue to pose serious risk and concern of COVID-19 entry and community transmission.”
Togamana said whilst the possible transmission is controlled by air, they are now focused on ensuring protocols dealing with vessels are sharpened to ensure COVDI-19 infections do not enter the country through ports.
He adds over the past 18 months, through the efforts of the Vessels Exemption Committee, they were able to protect the country from this deadly virus through the protocols that they have applied.
“As a result of the increasing incidence of finding COVID-19 positive crew members on foreign vessels, the Oversight Committee’s Vessel exemption committee will be tightening up requirements for foreign vessels to adhere to when travelling to Solomon Islands,” he said