SI awaits test results for 4 coronavirus suspects

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Permanent Secretary for the health ministry (MHMS), Pauline McNeil.
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BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO

THE country is waiting for test results to its first suspected coronavirus cases.

Samples taken from the suspects were sent to Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday this week for analysis and are expected to know what the results are 48 hours later.

Pauline McNeil, Permanent secretary for the health ministry (MHMS), said samples were collected from the suspected cases in the vessel by two trained health personnel, one doctor and one nurse from the emergency ward and have been shipped to a World Health Organisation (WHO) collaborating centre for Influenza in Melbourne, Australia.

 “The samples were taken and airlifted 10am yesterday [Tuesday 4th January] morning to our partner laboratory in Melbourne and the result of those samples should be available within the next 48 hours as of Wednesday 5th January

“Samples were taken from the four suspected cases were all on board and the total number of those onboard was about 45. Four were locals from Renbel and 16 were locals which are not in Renbel but all got onboard. So basically all 45 of them are all quarantine at the vessel,” she said.

Mrs McNeil said the laboratory department at NRH is keeping close track in the movement of the samples.

“Currently there is no detected case in Solomon Islands but we are investigating a cluster of suspected cases on board vessel coming in from China that was the recent mission we took to Rennell Bellona,” she said.

PS McNeil confirmed this on Wednesday 5th January in a local press conference with local media.

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