The Australian Government is funding the procurement and delivery of a new COVID-19 testing machine to enable in-country testing in Solomon Islands.

The machine is expected to be ready for mobilisation from Australia this week.

The Australia High Commission, World Health Organisation (WHO) and Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) are working together to get the testing machine and critical items to Solomon Islands on the first available cargo flight.

The new qPCR machine will be able to test 15 to 30 specimens in an approximately 45-minute turnaround to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.

Australia funded the machine at the request of the Solomon Islands Government.
Australia will also provide a package of additional critical items to ensure high quality testing and infection control. This includes an autoclave machine to destroy contaminated waste.

Australian High Commissioner Dr Lachlan Strahan said the Australian Government recognised early detection of COVID-19 would be essential for Solomon Islands’ work in preventing and managing any potential community transmission of the virus.

“This is a holistic response to support COVID-19 testing in Solomon Islands,” he said.

“Our close partnership with WHO and MHMS has enabled Australia to respond to the need for a new machine, as well as the technical expertise and training support to be delivered along with it.”

Source: Australian High Commission, Honiara