Provincial returnees to undergo mandatory quarantine if positive

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BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO 

DISCUSSIONS are underway for highly infectious people coming to Honiara from provinces to go to institutional quarantine facilities to prevent the likelihood of a COVID-19 second wave.

This was revealed by Dr. Jimmie Rodgers, Chairperson of the Prime Minister’s Office COVID-19 radio talk-back show and Secretary to Prime Minister yesterday.

“In the case where people coming to Honiara from the province are very infectious, they may go for institutional quarantine but we will come back to you with more clarity on that. At the moment they can undergo home quarantine,” Dr. Rodgers said.

He stressed most of these people are highly infectious, meaning they can come and spread the virus to other people very quickly and if they come on a vessel, those on board are exposed and many could be infected.

“At this point in time it is very concerning because if we have positive cases coming into Honiara, the likely hood for us to start another phase of infection is quite high. And so we will be looking very carefully on this matter. All we need is the cooperation of the provinces and of the people in the vessels,” Dr. Rodgers said.  

He adds that three ships have so far arrived in Honiara from the provinces, one from Malaita, one from Isabel, and one from Western Province. They brought positive cases from the provinces to Honiara.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Pauline McNeil said quarantining incoming passengers when there is already community transmission is done to prevent any new variant apart from delta entering communities.

McNeil said that once the virus comes into the country, we will experience the so-called second wave of covid-19 infections coming from communities.

“We also maintain our calls for communities along our borders to respect our border restrictions that are currently in place,” he said. 


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