88 new positive COVID-19 cases have been recorded today.

This was confirmed by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare during his nationwide address this afternoon.

This is over a 24-hour period from 8am 20th January 2022 to 8am 21st January 2022.

This brings the total cases of community transmission to 136, and a grand total of 169 cases when including those recorded in quarantine.

Those that have tested positive now includes swabs taken from the Good Samaritan Hospital East of Guadalcanal. GPPOL and Foxwood areas are now considered hotspots and people are asked to limit movements.

The Prime Minister said that what this means is that there is now widespread community transmission, with pockets of infection throughout Honiara and now in parts of Guadalcanal.

Sogavare continues to urge those 44 passengers that travelled on board MV Akwa to report to health authorities and help with contact tracing.

He says the Central Field Hospital is close to reaching full capacity and those that are asymptomatic will have to self-isolate at home.

The Prime Minister says the rate of infection is high and people should expect the numbers to rise as more tests are being conducted.