COVID-19 testing kits, lab equipment which includes a qPCR machine has arrived in Honiara.

The cargoes arrived Wednesday afternoon by Solomon Airlines.

The Solomon Islands government purchased the supplies from Chinese Company BGI (Beijing Genomic Institution) with assistance from the People’s Republic of China, PRC.
Funds used to purchase these supplies came from the government of PRC.

Last week, Foreign Affairs Minister, Jeremiah Manele received the handover certificate of USD$300,000 from Counsellor Yao Ming, Deputy Head of Mission of the PRC Embassy.

Some of the funds received from PRC was used to purchase the supplies.

Some other donated medical supplies and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)arrived last weekend by two cargo ships.

The supplies will be donated to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Guadalcanal Provincial Government, Honiara City Council and other stakeholders.

The PPE donations are from the Guangdong Provincial Government (sister province of Guadalcanal), China Harbor Engineering Company, Jia Shu Rong He International Trade Company and Solomon Chinese Association.

Some PPE donations from China also arrive on the same flight.

The PRC Embassy, Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, BGI and relevant agencies had collaborated to facilitate a flight route, from Hongkong, via Manila, Sydney and Brisbane to transport the goods to Honiara.

BGI where the Solomon Islands government purchased the supplies from is said to be on the worlds leading life science and geonomics organization.

BGI has businesses in more than 100 countries and regions around the world. The qPCR machine bought by the Solomon Islands government will be stationed at the National Referral Hospital.

NRH Medical Superintendent, Doctor John Hue said currently the NRH has a diagnostic machine to test for tuberculosis.

He said with COVID-19, the diagnostic machine will not be able to detect the Novel Coronavirus.

“Only the qPCR machine will be able to determine whether someone is infected with the Corona virus or not”, Dr. Hue said.

The qPCR machine will be stored in the Molecular laboratory.

It is understood qPCR machine funded by Australia will possibly arrive in the country at the end of the month.

The machine is in its final stages of being calibrated in Melbourne.