BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
‘TWO’ Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases of the 17 registered in Solomon Islands remain positive.
The two remaining positive cases are soccer players returning from England on October 2020, confirmed Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his first 2021 Covid-19 ‘Nationwide Address’ yesterday.
Prime Minister Sogavare expressed that the latest Covid-19 update in the country ‘is nothing short of a miracle’ given that in the month of December 2020 alone, 821 people were brought into the country.
“Good people of Solomon Islands, I am very happy to inform you all that the number of COVID-19 cases registered in Solomon Islands remain at 17,” said Sogavare.
“This is nothing short of a miracle, given that in the month of December alone, we brought 821 people into the country. More than 90 percent [%] of these people are our citizens we repatriated from Vanuatu, Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Fiji.
“One of the students that arrived from the Philippines and who was positive from COVID-19 while in the Philippines and turned negative for almost two months before his repatriation, reactivated after arrival to be transiently positive and has now turned negative again.
“Under international protocol, this case had been recorded against the Philippines, and therefore it does not increase our count. This is the reason our domestic cases remain at 17 cases registered against Solomon Islands.
“Fellow citizens, before we went for the Christmas break, I informed you all that we had 5 positive cases of COVID-19.
“I am extremely happy to inform you all, that as of this morning [yesterday], we now only have 2 positive cases of COVID-19.
“Of the 17 recorded cases 15 have turned negative. Of these, 11 have been released after completing 3 consecutive negative tests after their last positive tests. 10 were released over the past two months, and 1 last week.
“The two remaining positive cases are soccer players that returned from England on 25th October 2020. This is a concern for us. These two have been positive now for 79 days.
“In-fact, the other 8 positive cases that returned from the United Kingdom, and the one case that returned from Indonesia, were all positive for well over a month each.
“These prolonged positive cases are telling us that the COVID-19 virus does not just disappear from infected individuals at 10 or 14 days after their symptoms subside – especially from those that do not have any symptoms.
“Without repeated testing it is more than likely that many COVID-19 positive people could be still positive and infective when they are released back into communities.
“This is why in Solomon Islands we only release previously positive people after 3 consecutive negative tests to ensure we are 100 percent sure they are negative before they are released into the communities.”