Latest News Archive January 2022

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.

88 New Positive COVID-19 Cases

88 new positive COVID-19 cases have been recorded today.
If the captain of MV Akwa does test positive for the virus than it is important that those that attended the funeral identify themselves to health authorities and get tested.

MV Akwa Captain Attended Funeral Shortly After Arrival

The captain of MV Akwa is said to have attended a funeral somewhere on Guadalcanal shortly after the vessel arrived in Honiara on the 10th of January 2022.
“Protecting the health and wellbeing of Solomon Islands people, our passengers, crew and staff is our highest priority and we will do our utmost to play our part,” he said.

Domestic and International Flights Suspended

Solomon Airlines has aligned with the lockdown in Honiara and public health measures announced by the Solomon Islands Government on 19 January 2022, closing the national carrier’s Point Cruz Sales Office and Head Office in Honiara, and undertaking only essential aircraft and system maintenance.
Now with community transmission, NEOC has shifted to “Full Activation Mode."

National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) on Full-On Activation Mode

The National Disaster Operations Centre is now on “Full Activation Mode” following the announcement of the sixty hours lockdown for Honiara Emergency Zone effective as of 6pm last night (19th January 2022).
He says the isolation ward already has 50 patients, and will soon reach full capacity, which is 56 beds at any one time.

COVID-19 Isolation Ward Near Full Capacity

The COVID-19 isolation ward, formally the multipurpose hall, is near full capacity as more positive cases are being recorded since the outbreak.
Prime Minister Sogavare says it is very likely the numbers will continue to increase as more tests are being conducted.

48 Positive Cases: “COVID-19 is in Our Community”

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says 48 positive locally transmitted cases have been recorded by the Ministry of Health.
“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.

Lockdown to Determine the Spread of Covid-19 Infection

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.
Anyone coming to the hospital, you are strongly advised to wear face masks and ensure all other COVID-19 – safe measures are practiced while at the hospital such as frequent hand washing with soap or hand sanitizer, coughing or sneezing into elbows and maintain social distancing of at least 2 meters to another person.

NRH in Emergency Mode, Only accepting Emergency, Accidents and Referrals

With the current COVID-19 community transmission in Honiara and ongoing response, the National Referral Hospital (NRH) is only accepting emergency, accidents and referral cases.
For those that were on the boat MV Akwa that arrived in Honiara from Ontong Java on the 10th of January 2022 it is important that you identify yourself to health authorities and get tested. Call 155 or 25256 and identify yourself, the health team will come to you.

Get Tested: Let Us Fight This Virus Together

Today we awake to a new normal, while there is a sense of quite and calm, fact is we are now in the fight of our lives - our healthcare workers and frontliners are out there fighting this virus for us, for that we say thank you!
The order reads “A person must not enter or leave the emergency zone on and from 6.00 pm on Wednesday 19 January 2022 until 6.00 am on Saturday 22 January 2022”.

Honiara on Lock Down for 60 Hours

Honiara Emergency Zone will be in lockdown for 60 hours effective 6pm this evening to 6am Saturday 22 January 2022.
“If you are a passenger of the vessel or contacts of a passenger please stay where you are and call the two numbers – 155 or 25256."

Covid Health Team Starts Contact Tracing

The health team would like to make contact with two groups of people as a matter of urgency.
Cabinet will convene today to consider a lockdown for 6pm this evening.

BREAKING: Confirmed COVID-19 Community Transmission in Honiara

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has confirmed that there is now a positive community tested COVID-19 patient in Honiara.
SINIS High – Performance Portfolio 1 Performance Manager Moses Aunama Jr and SINIS Executive Director Aaron Alsop congratulating SINPC President Nihal Seneviratne and Secretary General Casper Pule.

IPC and OPC Congratulate the SI Paralympic Committee for Partnership With SINIS

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Oceania Paralympic Committee (OPC) congratulate the Solomon Islands National Paralympic Committee (SINPC) for the partnership sealed with the Solomon Islands National Institute of Sport (SINIS) High – Performance programme on Friday 14th January 2022.
Health PS, Mrs. McNeil next to Central Islands Provincial Health Director Dr Leslie Bunabo who received key to one of the 3 tonne trucks from MHMS Deputy Secretary Dr Gregory Jilini along-side World Bank and MHMS staff.

Three More 3 Tonne Trucks for Waste Disposal Ready for Deployment to the Province

With the vast majority of the country’s population residing in the provinces, strengthening and improving provincial health capacity and capability to provide effective, efficient and safe services to the people remains top of health agenda.
The Prime Minister says he is greatly saddened by this action which demonstrates a total lack of respect. Lockdown in Ontong Java is immediate as of today. Type of variant is still not identified.

We Now Have Community Transmission of COVID-19: Sogavare

Solomon Islands has recorded a community transmission of Covid-19 at Pelau in Ongtong Java atoll after six people tested positive for Covid-19 following the illegal entry of 10 people from Tasman Island to Pelau.
The onus should now be on border communities, to protect themselves and the country. Positive cases have already been recorded, so this may provide the incentive or urgency to do more - with support from government where possible.

Need to do More for Border Communities to Stop COVID-19 Entry

The recent detection of COVID-19 on Ontong Java and on Shortland is a wakeup call, in that the threat is real and complacency will be our undoing in the fight against COVID-19.
USP Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia stated it was an honour to see Semester Zero come to fruition enabling students to experience the unique university life.

USP Launches One-of-a-kind Semester Zero

The University of the South Pacific (USP) has launched Semester Zero, a one-of-a-kind initiative and a first-of-its-kind programme, for its provisional and potential first-year students to learn more about the University and get a "feel" of university life.
Diginitories and participants at the PNG Investment Forum in Dubai.

Team Solomons Attend PNG Investment Forum at Dubai Expo

Team Solomons at the Dubai Expo 2020 has attended a highly encouraging and successful Forum on ICT and Eco-Tourism organized by the PNG Expo delegation on Friday 14 January 2022.
Professor Aqorau assured “In the short to medium term, we can look to develop one to five days fully cost recovery tailored, but competency-based training for the various government ministries and agencies engaged in natural resources management."

SINU Appoints Dr Transform as Professor and Director of IOISD

The Solomon Islands National University (SINU) is proud and delighted to announce the appointment of a prominent Solomon Islands academic, Dr Transform Aqorau, as Professor and Director of the Institute of Ocean, Islands and Sustainable Development (IOISD).
SINIS Executive Director Aaron Alsop says the 'Partnership Event' link the High-Performance program with existing Non - Government Organizations, business houses and communities. Partnering with the vision to empower young people.

SINIS Organizes Community Engagement Event to Strengthen Partnership

Solomon Islands National Institute of Sport (SINIS) High Performance programme embraces a truly holistic approach to the support it provides to athletes.
Satellite images showed a huge eruption, generating a mushroom like plume of volcanic ash and steam. Reports say the sonic boom could be heard as far away as Alaska.

Volcano Erupts in Tonga, Triggers Tsunami

An undersea volcano that has been spewing lava for some time has erupted in Tonga, tsunami waves lashed the capital city Nuku'alofa and spread to parts of the Pacific.
The Health Ministry have advised families of people that have tested positive for COVID-19 to stay at home to limit further spread.

Ontong Java to go on Lock Down

A lockdown will be enforced in Ontong Java as soon as legal instruments are in order.
"The 4 suspected positive cases are close contacts of the 10 people who illegally entered our borders on Sunday 9th of January 2022 and landed at Pelau village, Ontong Java from Tasman Island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville."

Health Investigates Possible COVID Cases on Ontong Java After Illegal Border Crossing

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) is investigating 4 people at Pelau village in Ontong Java suspected of COVID-19 infection.
“Every time there is a wedding, couples want to be photographed on the beach. From the beach I decided to go under the water,” she said.

Ni-Van Photographer Wows Global Audience with Underwater Wedding Photo

A Ni-Van photographer has snapped up the world’s attention with an underwater wedding photo taken in Vanuatu.
It is understood the male victim had an argument with the suspects on New Year’s Day at a logging camp in Rennell which led to physical altercation, the victim left soon after.

Suspect Arrested and Charged with Murder in Tigoa

Officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) at Tigoa in Rennell Bellona Province have arrested a second suspect in relation to the alleged murder of a 37-year-old male on 1st January 2022.
SIVF President Morris Maitaki (Far left), SINIS High - Performance Executive Director Aaron Alsop (center) signing the MOU witnessed by Portfolio 2 (Team Sports) Performance Manager Amanda Korinihona.

Solomon Islands Volleyball Federation (SIVF) Signs High Performance MOU With SINIS

The Solomon Islands Volleyball Federation (SIVF) is the first National Federation (NF) to sign the Solomon Islands National Institute of Sports (SINIS) High – Performance Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today.
They say such weather conditions are not suitable for sea travel, especially in small boats, and advise the general public to avoid unnecessary risk and adjust their sea travel plans.

MET Service Warns of Unstable Weather

The Solomon Islands MET service warns of strong wind and unstable weather conditions linked to an active trough south of the country.
The training is to simulate real life situations when multiple incidents are happening at the same time in different locations.

RSIPF and AFP Engage in Public Order Trainings

Police Response Team (PRT) of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) completed level three Public Order Management (POM) training, which was conducted by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Specialist Tactical Group at Rove police headquarters on 10 January 2022.
Panpipe in the Solomon Islands was one of the many ways various aspects of our culture was preserved – our reverence for the dead, or the birth of a child, a sweet lullaby, a ritual.

Solomon Islands Panpipers: The Sounds of Our Ancestors

One of the unique features of the Solomon Islands is the talented panpipers, melodic tunes created from bamboo pipes, passed down from generations before.
Hon. Hou said the primary objective of the road infrastructure program has been achieved. “Today the communities of Tetele, Ou’oumatawa, Tapa’atewa, Ruru’uhe, Rorongo and Likimaea have direct road access to Matangasi Port. Now you can reach the Sea Port and Afio Government Station within 30 minutes”.

Small Malaita Constituency Launches Phase 2 of its Road Infrastructure Program

The Small Malaita Constituency (SMC) has successfully launched the Phase II of its Road Infrastructure Program on 3rd January 2022 at Rorongo, thanks to the active involvement of the local Member of Parliament for Small Malaita Constituency, Hon. Rick Nelson Houenipwela.
Accepting the letter of introduction, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare welcomed the new High Commissioner to Solomon Islands.

British Envoy Presents Credentials to Prime Minister

The incoming British High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, His Excellency Thomas Edward Coward presented his letter of introduction to the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Hon. Manasseh Sogavare today.
Fleet Solomons Company Managing Director Kensley Manu formally handover the $300,000 worth of Outboard Motor Engines to MP for Temotu Vatud Constituency Freda Rotutafi Rangirei and CDO Justine Tanema.

Temotu Vatud Constituents to Benefit from 300k Fishing and Transportation Project

Member of Parliament for Temotu Vatud Constituency (TVC) Honourable Freda Rotutafi Rangirei has received eleven 15-horse and two 40-horse power outboard motor engines (OBM) from the Government Preferred Supplier, Fleet Solomons a locally owned company.
The young child is believed to be one of the missing passengers of the ill-fated boat that traveled from Gizo for Shortlands.

Another Body from Missing Boat Recovered

A body of a young child, believed to be from the missing boat that travelled between Gizo and the Shortland Islands, was recovered over the weekend.
“The High-Performance Coach Scholarship program will provide professional development support to coaches of each of the National Federations competing in Sol2023 Pacific Games."

Sports Institute to Launch High Performance Coach Scholarship Program

The Solomon Islands National Institute of Sport will soon launch a sports scholarship program targeting high performance coaches.
Solomon Airlines also announced it has extended its existing ticket credit validity, allowing unused, valid tickets booked for travel to 2 July 2022, to be used towards a new airfare through to 31 December 2023.

International Flights Suspended Until 2nd July 2022

Considering the current international COVID-19 environment Solomon Airlines has confirmed the extension of its regular international flight schedule suspension to Saturday 2 July 2022.
The statement says the purpose of the Talent ID schools programme is to create a pool of talented teenage athletes for National Federations to choose from for national selection.

Sports Institute to Begin Talent Identification Program Soon

The Solomon Islands National Institute of Sport (SINIS) High Performance program will begin its initial phase to roll out its Talent Identification (TID) program to secondary schools starting Term one (1) Monday 31st January 2022.
Data shows that Omicron spreads faster than any of the other variants, making it near impossible to stop, or slow down, should there be community transmission.

The Threat of Omicron for the Unvaccinated

Data shows that the vast majority of those that contract the new variant Omicron experience mild symptoms, and are able to isolate and recover at home without much complications.
The PM went on to cite the 1st January incident where a man from the Shortland Islands was travelling with four Bougainvillean to our side of the border.

Western Border Incursion Pose Covid-19 Risks

The Western Border represents a potential source of Covid-19 incursion into the country.
Sogavare said that all returning citizens have signed compliance forms before they were allowed to board their flights. He emphasized that the quarantine rules are placed in each room and that there should be no excuse for flouting the rules.

Some Returning Nationals Are Not Complying With Quarantine Regulations

Some of our returning citizens have not complied with our quarantine requirements whilst serving quarantine.
Sogavare reiterated that with this confirmation from the Ministry of Health, our official figure of Covid-19 cases diagnosed in the country now stands at 25.

SI Registers One Additional Covid-19 Case

The country has registered one additional Covid-19 case.
We now have the two most transmissible and deadliest variants of Covid-19 in the country.

SI Registers First Delta and Omicron Covid-19 Variant Cases

The Ministry of Health has advised that the case from Dubai is of the Delta variant and the three from Fiji are of the Omicron variant.
Solomon Water says the increase reflects the cost of delivery of water and wastewater services and the continuous improvements that will be undertaken to provide safe and reliable water services to communities in Honiara.

Solomon Water Approves Increase in Water Tariff

In meeting the evolving regulatory requirements, water supply needs and customer expectations in the future, Solomon Water announces to its customers that as of January 1 2022 there has been an increase in water tariff.
“We hope that sense will prevail and there will be a swift resolution so that without risk, things can get back to normal in the near future,” Mr Gebers commented.

Flights to Marau Suspended Due to Land Dispute

Solomon Airlines has confirmed the temporary suspension of flights between Honiara and Marau effective today 7 January until further notice, due to an ongoing dispute between local landowners.
Prime Minister Sogavare paid gratitude to the Government and People of Papua New Guinea and the government and People of Japan for providing the funds to the National Hosting Authority to build the Football Academy.

PM Commissions SIFF Football Academy Grounds

Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare today commissioned the ground breaking of the Pacific Games 2023- SIFF Football Academy.
Information obtained by the police say that the couple had an argument and the husband left for Pileni on a dugout canoe, she followed soon after.

Missing Wife Returns Safe After Spending a Week on an Island

A female adult was said to have spent close to a week on an island after an arguement with her husband, many feared the worst.
Central Honiara Constituency funded water supply (borehole) project at Yellow Bamboo Community at New Zealand Camp.

CDF Contributes to Improvements in Livelihood: MRD

"The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has touched many lives and improved the livelihood of many," the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) says.
The incident report states that the suspect went to the victim’s dwelling house and lit a fire on the walling while the victim was sleeping.

15 Year Old Girl Arrested for Burning House

Officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) at Tulagi Police Station have arrested a 15-year-old female for burning down a dwelling house at Salavo village in Central Province on 4 January 2022.
Both the mother and her baby are medically stable and doing well at NRH Isolation ward.

“New Normal:” First Baby Born in Quarantine Station

Health COVID-19 Operation front liners have successfully assisted a pregnant mother in quarantine to deliver her baby with no breaches to Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) standards set in place for such incidents.
We all recognize the need to improve seafarer attitudes to safety requirements when traveling at sea, and the need to foster a safety-first culture at sea in Solomon Islands.

Tragedy Highlights the Need to Regulate the Use of Small Boats

The recent boat tragedy has highlighted the need for authorities to do more to regulate the use of small boats in the country.

Female Body and Debris From Missing Boat Recovered

Police have recovered a female body yesterday (4 January 2022), and confirmed that she is one of the fourteen passengers that went missing after their boat failed to reach their destination.
Officer in-charge of the EOD team, Inspector Clifford Tunuki says, “The EOD team have responded to the incident and secured the scene for further enquiry.”

Police Investigates Bomb Explosion

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) have responded to a report of an explosion incident, which occurred at Mbarana area, North West Guadalcanal on 4 January 2021.
The training was conducted by Australian Federal Police (AFP) Specialist Tactical Group at Rove police headquarters on 4 January 2022.

AFP Conduct Tactical Training with Police Response Unit

Police Response Team (PRT) of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) were boosted with level three Public Order Management (POM) training, which was conducted by Australian Federal Police (AFP) Specialist Tactical Group at Rove police headquarters on 4 January 2022.
The Hon. Prime Minister is a USP alumnus Gold Medalist who graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma for Managers in Advanced Analytics Skills in 2008 and a Master of Business Administration in 2009. He also holds Bachelor of Science (Honors) from Auckland, New Zealand and his Master of Science in Computation from Oxford, England.

USP Alumnus Appointed as Prime Minister of Tonga

His Majesty the King of Tonga, King Tupou VI, appointed Honourable Siaosi' Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni, an alumni of the University of the South Pacific (USP), as Tonga's new Prime Minister through a Royal Warrant of Appointment, effective December 27, 2021.
Paying tribute to Mr Paza, Tourism Solomons head of sales and marketing, Fiona Teama said he led the way in introducing a unique brand of responsible tourism product.

Solomon Islands Mourns Passing of Eco-tourism Pioneer

Tourism Solomons is leading the tributes for one of the country’s acknowledged eco-tourism pioneers, Kilo Paza, who passed away suddenly last week.
Police in south Choiseul will continue their search today should weather permit.

14 Still Missing at Sea

The national broadcaster, SIBC, says fourteen people are missing at sea after a boat they were travelling in failed to reach its destination.
Starting in the new year, 4.3 births and two deaths are expected worldwide every second, the U.S Census Bureau estimated.

World’s Population Hits 7.8 Billion on New Year’s Day 2022

The world's population is projected to be 7.8 billion people on New Year's Day 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
"Given the request for a longer presence, and through our kotahitanga principle, we will continue to work alongside our Solomon Islands and regional whanau over the next few months as we play our part in upholding regional security and building a more resilient Pacific," Nanaia Mahuta said.

Support by New Zealand Defence Force in Solomon Islands Extended

New Zealand Defence Force and Police deployment to help restore peace and stability to Solomon Islands is being scaled down and extended.