Health authorities heightens vigilance for COVID-19

Health Authorities have heightened their preparedness for any potential cases of covid-19 if the virus hits Honiara City.

Currently, an isolation ward at the National Referral Hospital is being set up for confirmed or suspected cases. The World Health Organisations (WHO) is assisting with equipment, while the New Zealand Government is supporting the cost of refurbishment.

A triage site, where patients are first assessed for treatment at NRH is now operating and has already been used to assess current suspected cases.

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A quarantine facility in Honiara is now operating with nurses and security officers on site. This facility is setup for people who are not sick, but who are assessed as being at risk of having exposed to the virus.

Surveillance officers are also in regular communication with those in home-based quarantine to check for symptoms of COVID so that cases can be identified early.

Meanwhile, the Government has upgraded its Travel Advisory over the weekend to level 4.

Under this latest advisory, none Solomon Islands citizens are prohibited from entering the country while all returning Solomon Islands citizens will be subjected to risk-based assessment by Government authorities and may further subject to quarantine restrictions for up to 14 days.

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They are also required to report to Health authorities if they become unwell and display symptoms of the COVID-19 during the 14 days after arrival and should remain on self-isolation.

Under these latest measures, any person found to be providing false information to the Solomon Islands Government will be prosecuted under the relevant laws and this may include imprisonment or deportation.

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A travel ban was also imposed on all members of Parliament and Government Officials to restricted countries. Citizens and residents of Solomon Islands are advised to avoid or defer nonessential travel including conferences and training to restricted countries.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services continues to urge the public to practice health hygiene behaviors.

COVID-19 is spread when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes or breathes, sending infected droplets over others and onto surfaces.

For more information contact MHMS Media Officer Dian Maggie Row on email, [email protected] or phone: 25205