Covid-19 in the city

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King Solomon Hotel quarantine site. Photo by Alfred Pagepitu
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One of the latest cases detected in a quarantine site in the heart of Honiara

BY BARNABAS MANEBONA AND PETER ZOLEVEKE II

ONE of the five covid-19 positive cases announced on Monday this week was quarantined and detected in one of the hotels in the centre of Honiara.

Quarantine management at the site has assured that no mingling has occurred among the quarantined persons since they were brought in and all safety pre-caution measures have been observed so there is low possibility of any transmission.

The medical team which evacuated the patient to NRH isolation had also sanitised the patient’s room when they came to take him on Monday. In addition to this, government’s mandatory tests are continuing, quarantine management said.

On Monday prime minister Manasseh Sogavare said four local soccer players, who had returned from England, and a passenger who had travelled from Korea are the country’s latest covid-19 cases.

Mr Sogavare did not say where they were quarantined. However, in earlier statements, he said high-risk passengers would be quarantined together. Focus has been on the returning soccer players and passengers sitting close to them in the plane.

With public realising that a case has been identified in the centre of Honiara, it has raised fear and worry especially from residents living beside the King Solomon Hotel quarantine site, pointing out that the virus might get out of control starting from within the capital.

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According to concern, all quarantine sites should be set up outside or on the edges of Honiara and not within. This is to add prevention from any mistake over the virus that might start spreading in the centre of Honiara where most of its population dwell.

Despite fear and concern raised, Quarantine Management has assured public that they are stepping up their regulation measures to avoid occupants from mingling under the State of Emergency guidelines since a case has been confirmed.

“We are doing all the best we can to maintain that nothing slips out of hand, and I thank the hotel management and those in quarantine for their complicity to these.”

Quarantine management says the situation where ‘a case confirmed from the site’ is unfortunate, but the strict measures and routines will continue to be followed to make sure there is no further spread.

Sogavare in his ‘nationwide address’ on Monday said all ‘five’ new cases announced this week have been transferred to the National Referral Hospital (NRH) isolation units.

The five new Covid-19 cases bring the country’s total number of positive cases from the Auckland flight last week Sunday to nine.

With that, the total number of Covid-19 cases registered in Solomon Islands now is ‘13’, of which Prime Minister Sogavare said the first four that were linked to the Philippines have now become negative.

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