The 60 hours lockdown that is effective for Honiara Emergency Zone is purposely to give the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to carry out contact tracing of MV Akwa’s trip from Ontong Java on the 10th January after a passenger on that trip was tested positive for COVID 19.

Prime Minister Sogavare said, “The full extent of the COVID 19 infection in Honiara is yet to be established, since this diagnosis."

Mr Sogavare alluded to in his special nationwide address on Wednesday that the lockdown exercise would help the country’s health team to ascertain the geographical boundaries of the infection for containment purposes.

“The most important priority in the next 24 to 48 hours is to identify the exact locations of all the passengers that arrived in Honiara from Ontong Java on 10th January, 2022 and to determine the geographical boundaries of spread of Covid-19 infection in Honiara,” he said.

He further mentioned that once the boundaries are determined, we can focus on activities inside and outside of these boundaries.

The PM however stressed that to achieve this, the cooperation of all passengers that travelled to Honiara on MV Akwa on 10th January 2022 to call 115 or 25256 to inform the health team of their whereabouts is paramount.

He also mentioned that it is important for all contacts of any passenger that travelled to Honiara on the vessel to call the two numbers to inform the health team of their locations.

“Any member of the public that knows of a passenger and or contact of a passenger to call the two numbers for attention,” he said.

Members of the public are requested to practice basic health activities such as washing of hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizers, keep social distancing of at least 2 meters apart from another person, always wear face masks and avoid congregating together.

The Honiara City boundary that is in lockdown is from Lunga in the East to Poha in the West end of Honiara.