The scare caused by the positive COVID-19 cases on board a cargo vessel that passed through Honiara has prompted health authorities to restrict entry at the national referral hospital – with current status raised to ‘alert level’.

Health authorities have advised that the elevation to ‘alert level’ means closure and strict monitoring of all entry points into the hospital.

The public car parking area at the Eye Centre will be closed off for the duration of the alert period with strict management of in and outflow of vehicles to and from emergency to accommodate space for two tents that will be set up for COVID-19 screening and triaging (determining priority patients).

All normal Outpatient Department Treatment (ODT) will be referred to Honiara clinics with referrals to the hospital to be managed mostly for only the very sick. All patients will undergo questioning as part of the screening and possible COVID-19 testing based on responses received.

As usual, in such a situation, the number of visitors to the hospital will be limited and crowding at the mortuary will be prohibited.

Dr George Malefoasi, NRH Chief Executive Officer (CEO) explained that the undertaking is crucial for the hospital’s preparedness and actual response to a community transmission situation.

“The recent incident of contact by sea- port COVID-19 front-liners with crews of MV Papa Mau Pau who tested positive for COVID-19, 10 days after leaving Honiara Port with ongoing contact tracing, quarantining and testing of all other secondary contacts had led the NRH Executive to activate COVID-19 alert”, explained Dr Malefoasi.

He added, “It was a relief to learn of the negative COVID-19 test results of front-liners who made primary contacts with the vessel’s crew however we must not be complacent with the virus, anything can happen thus endorsement of the COVID-19 alert”.

All family members and friends of NRH patients are kindly requested to limit visitation to the hospital and avoid crowding at the Morgue.

NRH Executive apologize for any inconvenience this will cause but it is critical for the preservation of our health in this difficult and uncertain times.

Source: MHMS