The return of 106 students and their family members this week from Fiji was made possible through the cooperation and partnership between the Solomon Islands Government and the Solomon Islands Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Pacific Office in Suva, Fiji.
The IFRC team coordinated and facilitated COVID-19 tests that was done by the Fiji’s Ministry of Health Centre for Disease and Control (CDC) for all the students and their family members.
Ms. Kathryn Clarkson, Head of Country Cluster Support Team, Pacific, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies verified from Suva that the CDC had confirmed all tests returned negative.
“All students and their family members underwent single round of swabbing and testing and all results returned negative”.
She also acknowledged exceptional work done by the Fiji’s CDC team. “Overall the CDC team did a great job and were very efficient with the testing which enabled swift completion of the tests thus fulfilment of the Solomon Islands Government’s pre-arrival test requirements. IFRC is happy to provide this support to assist the students and citizens to return home and reunite with their families”.
The Solomon Islands Government, through the Ministry of Health, has met all costs related to COVID-19 testing for these repatriated citizens. Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Mrs. Pauline McNeil thanked IFRC for the ongoing support in repatriation of Solomon Islands students and citizens.
“Thank you so much for coordinating and facilitating on behalf of the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and the government. Our partnership will go a long way into making sure that Solomon Islands prevents potential further importation of the virus into the country”.
“I wish to also thank the government of New Zealand for the funding support that has enabled the pre-departure testing, Fiji’s Ministry of Health, CDC team, for administering the swabbing and testing and the Solomon Islands High Commission Office team in Suva for the job well done in supporting the pre-arrival requirements of the country”, stated Mrs. McNeil.
Based on the risk assessment conducted by the MHMS, Fiji remains a low risk country thus all students underwent only single round of testing before departing Fiji.