Solomon Islands’ Health Minister Hon. Culwick Togamana assures that the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) is working very hard to ensure that the country’s first COVID-19 case remains contained and is limited to quarantine stations and does not lead to community spread.
Hon Togamana made the assurance earlier this afternoon in a nationwide address following the Prime Minister’s weekly address.
“Our first COVID-19 patient is still at the NRH Isolation ward and is being monitored by Isolation doctors and nurses at the NRH.
“The patient remains asymptomatic meaning that although he has tested positive for COVID-19 he is not feeling sick or showing COVID-19 signs of fever or coughing. This is normal as there are some cases of COVID-19 who remain asymptomatic,” he said.
The Minister said contact tracing commenced on Saturday 3rd October and included 29 student passengers who were seated close to the patient during the flight, as well as students and Camp Management staff at Chengs accommodation.
“Contact tracing was also extended to health workers and all frontliners who were involved in operations following arrivals and those who conduct health monitoring.
“All the people involved in operations have undergone risk assessment and are considered low risk.
"The people who were involved in collection of biological specimens from the quarantined people, although considered low risk, have been quarantined as a prudent measure. All these 90 people have also been tested for COVID-19 and results are pending,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry’s National Health Emergency Operations Centre including the National Referral Hospital (NRH) is in full activation mode since the detection of the country’s first positive COVID-19 case on the morning of Saturday 3rd of October.
Hon Togamana said this full activation mode means that all health teams from clinical, public health surveillance, clinical, triage and isolation, ambulance, risk communication and so forth are all on standby and on heightened alert.
This ensures that they will be able to respond quickly if there are any further reports of COVID-19 related signs and symptoms from within the quarantine station in which the Philippines students are currently being quarantined or if there are reports of community transmission.