The Honiara Public is urged to remain calm in light of the country’s first positive covid-19 case, as Health Authorities took full control of the situation and isolated the patient to prevent further spread of the virus in the community.

The Government Oversight Committee on Covid-19 is confident that the swift response by Health Authorities effectively prevented further spread of the virus from the source in isolation.

A statement from the OSC late yesterday said, “There is a low risk for transfer of COVID 19 after the first case since the patient is kept at the Isolation Unit at the National Referral Hospital”.

The OSC statement added, “It is heartening that the two suspected cases tested the previous day were negative”.

Since Saturday, risk assessment was beefed up for the index case as the Health Surveillance Team has been activated.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services had pull together an Assessment Report in less than 24 hours while continuing to review and validate the report as new and additional information are sourced.

The OSC statement added that all 95 front liners that attended the first Philippines flight were due for test yesterday (Sunday 4).

“We expect those tests to be negative which means at least, for them and their families, that’s an assurance. We don’t expect any of them to be positive because the employees strictly observed their PPE protocols,” the statement said.

However, Cabinet may order anyone that is at risk of exposure to be quarantined if need to be.

The Committee further explained, the 20 people who sat in the two seats in front, back and  opposite rows during the Philippines flight have been identified, clustered and are being quarantined together.

The person with whom the first case shared a room in Philippines is also undergoing additional tests.

The Government believes, by the time the remaining 307 students who are still in Philippines come home, they would be negative as they have been in the hotels for between 5 to 8 weeks.

The Committee strongly emphasized, its message to the public is “no panic, COVID 19 is an illness; it is a serious one because it can spread quickly. That is why it is dangerous. However, so far, 19 Solomon Islanders have been infected, not all 19 were sick from it. Based on that history, at least for us, it’s a mild illness.”

The statement said some of our people do not have the level of resistance such as the elderlies and children with illnesses.