Lab technicians and resources at the hospital are said to be stretched thin as it tries to cope with a sudden influx of swab samples taken from recent tests conducted after the COVID-19 outbreak in Honiara.

The Ministry of Health and Medical services say despite the limited resources they are doing their best to help map out the magnitude of the spread and bring the transmission under control.

The Health Ministry says some of those tested had to wait for hours, some even a whole day, to get their COVID-19 test results before they were cleared to leave or moved to isolation. They acknowledge the frustrations this may have caused but say they are trying their very best.

They say testing will continue based on risk assessments, which includes medical workers, patients at the hospital exposed to positive cases, and suspected cases and close contacts of positives from the public.

The Health Ministry says those health workers that are cleared will immediately resume their duties as they are critical to the functioning of the hospital as well as clinics in Honiara. They are monitoring the situation to ensure that the flow of shifts and overall man-power does not affect health services during this critical time.

They say they are aware that a number of health workers have been venting their frustrations on social media, which they say is understandable during such difficult and unprecedented times. But they reiterate that such tests must not be rushed to ensure safety of lab technicians as well as for accuracy of results.

The Ministry of Health says those that may have been exposed to a COVID-19 patient to call 115/ 25256 and isolate yourself. They say priority will be for those who have serious symptoms, those with mild symptoms or those that are asymptomatic will have to wait and self-isolate at home.