PM announces 3 more Covid-19 cases

Prime Minister Manasseh Soavare today announced three more Covid-19 positive cases in the country.

“This now brings to 16, the total number of COVID-19 cases registered in Solomon Islands,” PM Sogavare was speaking during his nationwide address today.

He said of the 3 new cases, one is from the original group from the Philippines. This brings to 5 the total number of cases from the Philippines.

“The good news is that this 5th case has now converted to negative. “This means that all 5 cases from the Philippines are now negative.

“The other 2 cases are footballers that returned from the United Kingdom. This brings to 10 the total number of footballers that have COVID-19. Only 6 of the 16 footballers are still not infected.

“However, given the nature of the virus, we anticipate more positive among the footballers in the coming days. The saving grace is that all the footballers are quarantine in a separate quarantine station so they cannot infect others,”PM Sogavare said.

He said based on these numbers, we now have 11 confirmed COVID-19 positive cases from the flight that arrived on 25th October from Auckland. 10 of these are footballers and 1 from Korea. All these 11 cases are still positive.

“…it is sad that most of the positive cases resulted from dishonesty by our own citizens. They lied in their pre-departure assessment forms.

“As a result of the behaviour of few of our citizens that opened our country to this unprecedented increase in numbers of COVID-19 cases, my government will hold these people responsible for endangering our people and our country.”

 PM Sogavare said the government is tightening up the pre-departure assessment form making it a ‘prescribed form’.

“This simply means that anyone who lies on the form, will be prosecuted after their release from quarantine stations. This Government has tried its best in good faith to bring our people back home but our very own people have not returned this good faith.

“Fellow citizens, as I stated before, COVID-19 is not a game. Unfortunately, many of our returning soccer players and some of our returning students from Philippines seem not to realize the gravity of the situation.

“By their dishonest actions, they knowingly endangered our citizens and our country. Their selfish actions had increased the cost of our fight against Covid-19 substantially. It has also delayed the repatriation of the many deserving citizens that are still waiting to return home. This is extremely disappointing.

“Fellow Solomon Islanders, contact tracing of the positive cases and their assessments have been completed. I would like to reassure all our good people that your Government remains committed to implementing appropriate and strict measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into our communities.”