Latest News Archive April 2022

“There is evidence that the Omicron BA 2 variant was in circulation on April 6 and is now the primary driver of the COVID-19 situation in Honiara,” the Health Minister says.

Omicron BA.2: Second Wave Variant Confirmed

Health Minister, Dr. Culwick Togamana, has confirmed that the second wave of COVID-19 in Honiara is being driven by a new variant, identified as Omicron BA.2.
The Impact Rankings capture universities’ impact on society, based on the institutions’ success in delivering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Impact Rankings showcase the work being delivered by universities demonstrating the difference a university is making to sustainability in the future.

USP Ranked Highly in Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022

The University of the South Pacific (USP) has been ranked in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings for 2022. This is an incredible result for the premier university of our region.
The Avuavu New Health Facility is an SBD$16 million dollars’ project funded by the Korean Government (KOICA) through the World Health Organization.

New Health Clinic Boosts Health Services in Avuavu

As of Tuesday, this week, around 4000 people in Avuavu area in Guadalcanal province and about 7000 more people in surrounding wards and communities will greatly benefit from an improved and expanded range of health services from the newly opened Area Health Centre (AHC).
The delivery of the Pfizer vaccines was made possible by the partnership and collaboration between Australia, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

Australia Delivers Additional 150,930 Pfizer Vaccines

Australia’s High Commissioner, Dr Lachlan Strahan, handed over 150,930 Pfizer vaccines in partnership with UNICEF and a new truck to the National Medical Stores yesterday.
He says that based on initial reports the young girl went missing on Wednesday 6 April 2022, and a search was conducted for the past three weeks with no results.

Police Search for Clues Over Brutal Killing of 21-Year-Old Girl

Police in Seghe and Gizo in the Western Province are investigating the brutal killing of 21-year-old female person whose body was found at Ambu Village in West Marovo Lagoon on 25 April 2022.
These financing comes under the International Development Association or IDA through the World Bank Group.

Government Concludes Talks with World Bank on Infrastructure Projects

Major aviation, road and bridge investments will soon commence as the Government, through its key Ministries including Ministry of Finance and Treasury, the Ministry of Communication and Aviation (MCA) and the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) and the World Bank Group Team agreed on the terms and conditions of a Financing Agreement.
He says that his Ministry will confirm the number of confirmed cases since some people have had to be tested on both the rapid test and the PCR, which may raise the registered positive cases artificially.

Health Says 604 Tested Positive for COVID-19

The country has recorded an additional 604 positive tests for COVID-19 in the past 48 hours, bringing the total cumulative number of positive COVID-19 tests to 14,786.
He says that Sogavare is at the mercy of those that put him in power, and many come with big requests and expectations, which are often driven by those that fund them during elections.

Can We Take Sogavare For His Words?

Do not trust all assurances that Sogavare utters because they are mere media publicity stunts.
Japan's Honourable Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Uesugi Kentaro during his visit to Hells Point, East of Honiara.

Japan Delegation Visits EOD Team at RSIPF

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) met with the Japan Honourable Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Uesugi Kentaro and the Japanese delegation upon their visit to Hells Point yesterday.
PTI Australia’s Trade and Investment Commissioner, Caleb Jarvis, noted the ongoing impact of the pandemic on the Pacific, and the organisation’s work to continue supporting the private sector through and beyond the crisis.

PTI Australia Facilitates Over AUD$1m in Solomon Islands Export Deals in 2021

Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Australia, an agency of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, has launched its 2021 Annual Report, highlighting more than A$27 million in export deals and a record seventeen investment deals facilitated in the region, despite the challenging environment.
“I’m very thankful and at the same time very humble to be appointed as Chair for the Athlete Advisory Group at the Solomon Islands National Institute of Sport (SINIS),” Aumae Boso said.

National Athletics Rep Appointed Chair of Advisory Group

National female athlete Helen Aumae Boso is the newly appointed Solomon Islands National Institute of Sport (SINIS) High-Performance Athlete Advisory Group (AAG) Chair.
Based on the current clinical picture that health experts are seeing, symptoms are consistent with Omicron. Samples have been sent overseas for genome sequencing and will be known this week.

1,226 New COVID-19 Cases in Second Wave

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) has recorded another 1,226 new COVID-19 cases over the past 72 hours, bringing total case count to 14,182.
US’s core concern is China establishing a military base in Solomon Islands, this will have regional security implications.

Government Says Talks with US a Success

Solomon Islands Prime Minister the Honourable Manasseh Sogavare warmly welcomed US National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo –Pacific, Kurt Campbell to Solomon Islands following a friendly and productive meeting on 22 Friday April, 2022.
He said through the deal with China, Prime Minister Sogavare has placed Solomon Islands in the center of the geopolitical struggle in the Indo-Pacific.

US Says a China Military Base Will Cross the Red Line

Opposition Leader Hon Matthew Wale says Solomon Islands should seriously heed US advice not to cross the redline.
The security treaty included the potential deployment of Chinese security forces to maintain “social order” in response to requests from the government of the Solomons, raising concerns from US and its allies.

US Delegation Lands in Honiara

A US delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs Daniel Kritenbrink, and the National Security Council’s (NSC) Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell has landed in Honiara.
"This agreement is likely to have an impact on the overall region's security, so we are watching it with concern," Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference.

Japan Cabinet Secretary Says Solomon Islands-China Pact May Impact Region

China's security agreement with the Solomon Islands may affect security for the region and is a probable topic for discussions between the leaders of Japan and New Zealand, Japan's chief cabinet secretary said.
He says samples have been sent to Australia for genome sequencing to determine the variant, with all likelihood pointing to the highly contagious Omicron variant.

Second Wave Underway: 229 COVID-19 Cases Recorded in Honiara

Honiara is now experiencing its second wave of COVID-19, with 229 positive cases recorded in the past 48 hours.
“We will keep the Prime Minister’s promise in Parliament to the people of this country that the agreement will be made public and we will continue to push for it to be released. If bilateral security treaties with our other partners can be posted on the website for transparency purposes, then why not that of China?” he questioned.

Matters of National Security Should Not Be Kept Secret: Wale

Opposition Leader Hon Matthew Wale says it is unfortunate that the security pact with China had to be secretly signed and was only made known through officials in Beijing.
She says members of the Press are not the enemy and should not be treated as such either. She says journalists are doing their jobs just like any other profession.

MASI Call on Police to Respect Work of Journalists

The Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) is calling on the Police to respect journalists and members of the Press when carrying out their work in a public space.
In 2019 Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare held high-level talks in China during the first ever official visit to the country after his government decided to switch recognition to China.

Solomon Islands and China Signs Security Cooperation Agreement

China said it has signed the inter-governmental framework agreement on security cooperation this week with Solomon Islands.
This was announced by the Minister of Finance and Treasury, Harry Kuma when tabling the $5.5 billion 2022 Appropriation Bill in Parliament for its Second Reading Thursday last week.

SBD$200M Approved for Businesses Affected By Riots

The Government has approved a $200 million reconstruction and rehabilitation package over a period of two years to assist businesses affected by the November 2021 riots.
Health Minister Togamana urges all Solomon Islanders to continue to abide by the measures imposed by the health ministry.

Resurgence of COVID-19 Cases in Honiara

There is a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Honiara. Health Minister, Dr. Culwick Togamana confirmed this in his national statement before the Easter weekend. He said positive cases are detected for both domestic arrivals from the provinces and pre-departures from Honiara.
Australia’s support for regular and reliable commercial air connectivity also contributes to Solomon Islands’ economic recovery.

Additional International Flight Introduced by Solomon Airlines With Support From Australia

Solomon Airlines will move a step closer to rebuilding the airline’s international schedule with the introduction of a second weekly service between Brisbane and Honiara available on Wednesdays.
"Australia’s commitment to working with Solomon Islands on its security needs is to do so swiftly, transparently and with full respect for its sovereignty."

Australia Has Asked Sogavare to Consider Not Signing the Draft Security Agreement With China

Australia's Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Zed Seselja, has asked Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to consider not signing the Draft Security Agreement with China.
The Government confirmed that China’s Embassy Security Personnel have not entered the country and no arms have been shipped.

Government Clarifies Leaked Correspondence From China Embassy

The request by the Chinese Embassy in Honiara to the Solomon Islands Government to allow diplomatic Chinese security personnel to protect the Embassy during the November 2021 riots was considered and held in abeyance by the Government.
Director Dekyi said those chemicals are very dangerous and if not careful, they can burn human skin, cause damage to the respiratory systems and cause lung cancer.

Fire Service Remove Dangerous Chemicals

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Fire Services Department supported other government agencies to remove dangerous chemicals stored at the old Taiwanese farm, east of Honiara this week.
"Australia will continue to be a transparent and respectful partner," Seselja wrote on Twitter after arriving at Honiara's airport.

Australian Minister Arrives in Honiara For Talks

An Australian government minister arrived in the Solomon Islands on Wednesday for talks on a proposed security agreement between the Pacific islands nation and China that Australia opposes.
Solomon Breweries has been in operations in Solomon Islands since 1993 and the brewer of iconic local brands SolBrew Lager, Canoe Classic and SB.

Solbrew Shares Best Practise With Customers

Solomon Breweries recently kicked off an initiative to share their COVID-19 best practices with their customers which includes sharing tips, providing information posters, sanitisers and masks for the outlets.
The government has responded to the leaked document through a media release, stating that the document is fake and responsible authorities will provide a response soon.

Another Week, Another Leak

Another government document has been leaked to social media by a group calling themselves Public Servants for Transparency.
The Opposition Leader said at no time was the Prime Minister given the mandate by the people to establish this clandestine military treaty.

Security Treaty is PM's Personal Deal With PRC: Opposition Leader

Opposition Leader Hon Matthew Wale says the China military treaty is a personal deal between Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and the PRC, and not about Solomon Islands and PRC.
All recipients of PTI Australia’s COVID-19 Freight Assistance Package must have a registered business in one of the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Member countries, be currently exporting to Australia or utilising eCommerce to ship globally, or be an Australian-based importer importing products from a registered business in a PIF Member country.

Freight Assistance Package Reopens to Pacific Exporters

Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Australia, the region's leading trade and investment promotion agency, have reopened applications to their COVID-19 Freight Assistance Package, a monetary grant designed to support Pacific exporters in the wake of COVID-19 through the subsidisation of freight costs.
President Joe Biden is set to send National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific Kurt Campbell to the Solomon Islands.

President Joe Biden to Send Diplomat to the Solomon Islands Following Security Pact With China

US President Joe Biden is set to send Kurt Campbell, the National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, to the Solomon Islands.
The call from the police was made following claims surfacing in the media that there is a secret plot to assassinate Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Police Calls for Responsible Media Reporting After Article on Plot to Assassinate PM

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) is encouraging the media to report with a sense of responsibility, particularly when reporting on matters that may cause fear among the general public.
Globally, the recovery rate is often calculated by considering the total number of discharged patients with the total COVID-19 positive patients

90% of Positive COVID-19 Cases Have Recovered

The Minister of Health Dr Culwick Togamana says that based on data available, 90% of all persons who tested positive have recovered.
Without an immediate and significant reduction in emissions across all sectors and regions, that 1.5°C goal is out of reach.

2°C Not An Option For the Pacific, Decarbonisation a Must!

The publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III report on climate mitigation only confirms what vulnerable and marginalised communities, indigenous people and climate activists have been saying for years.
There are now only 2 COVID-19 patients at the National Referral Hospital (NRH), which represents 1 percent of total admissions at the NRH.

COVID-19 Update: 149 New Cases Recorded

The country has recorded 149 new COVID-19 cases over the past 48 hours. Health Minister Dr Culwick Togamana gave the update during his COVID-19 situation update on the national broadcaster, SIBC.
Opposition Leader Hon Wale, Premier Sikilabu and members of the Isabel provincial government.

Premier Sikilabu Speaks Highly of Opposition Leader's Watchdog Role

The new Isabel Premier Hon Rhoda Sikilabu has spoken highly of the important watchdog role played by the Opposition Leader.
PM, Foreign Affairs Minister, Police Minister with Special envoy and Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands.

Positive Outcome to Dialogue Between PM and Australian Envoy

Solomon Islands and Australia reaffirmed mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and agreed to work together as close friends.
Fiji, the subregion’s second-largest economy, is projected to record 7.1% growth in 2022 and 8.5% in 2023. The opening of the country’s borders in December 2021 gives hope for a revival of tourism.

Pacific Returns to Positive Growth as Vaccinations, Border Reopening Strengthen Economies in 2022: ADB

After 2 years of recession caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Pacific is expected to return to positive growth this year, according to the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2022, ADB’s flagship economic publication, which was released today.
"We are not in normal times. If we decide to ignore the regulations then we will face the consequences."

13 Citizens Charged For Illegal Border Crossing

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) at Gizo and Noro Police Station in the Western Province have charged 13 defendants out of the 17 who cross the Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Solomon Islands (SI) border to Buin last month.
“There’s still a way ahead. But every time a secret security event comes to light, it’s a concern,” he told ABC in Washington DC during an event with foreign journalists.

Top US Admiral Raises Concerns Over Potential Security Pact Between Solomon Islands and China

A top US admiral has criticized a potential security pact between China and the Solomon Islands, describing it as a “secret” scheme that worries the United States and its partners.
‘One more COVID-19 related death recorded in the past 48 hours bringing the total COVID-19 related deaths to 134’, stated Dr. Togamana.

Total COVID-19 Case Count 11,856 and 236 Additional Cases in Past 72 Hours

‘Total COVID-19 case count for Solomon Islands is now at 11,856, 236 additional cases recorded in the past 72 hours’, this was stated by the Hon. Dr Culwick Togamana, Minister for Health and Medical Services.
The Prime Minister also paid tribute to the Pacific family led by Australia and New Zealand who have helped to restore peace, security and economic wellbeing of the country during the darkest days of the nation.

We Will Never Host Any Military Base: Sogavare

In his national address of late, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare assured the citizens of this country that Solomon Islands will never be used as a military base or other military institutions by any foreign country now or in the future.
He encouraged his social media rivals to unite against those that are trying to destabilise the unity of Solomon Islands “rather than being brain-washed to promote the interest of outside forces during these trying times.”

Minister Veke Stands by Comments Made on Social Media

Police Minister Anthony Veke says he stands by his social media comments in relation to a post carrying a letter by the President of the Federated State of Micronesia (FSM) to Solomon Islands Prime Minister asking the Solomon Islands Government to withdraw its security deal with China.
Chinese Ambassador H.E. LI Ming and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Mr. Colin Beck have initialed the Framework Agreement Between the Government of the PRC and the Government of Solomon Islands on security cooperation.

Broadening Security Partnership Necessary For Internal Peace: Government

The Solomon Islands government’s intention to broaden its security cooperation with willing partners is necessary to sustain its internal peace and stability.
The statement says that the new facility meets all international criteria for sports’ stadiums and will be an important symbol for sports development in the country.

Training Tracks and Football Field for Pacific Games 2023 Taking Shape

Training tracks and a football field built for the Pacific Games 2023 is taking shape.
Anthony Veke is the Minister for Police, National Security and Correctional Services.

“Worry About Your Atoll,” Minister Veke’s Shameful Comment on Social Media

Opposition Leader Hon Matthew Wale has described sarcastic climate change comments by a government minister on social media as insensitive and shameful.
The national government stated that the Bill came about due to issues raised by the Opposition Group, one of which is the unnecessary involvement of the Governor General in declaring the State of Emergency.

Government Urges BLC to Hasten its Report on the Public Health Emergency Bill 2021

The national government is urging the Bills and Legislation Committee (BLC) to quickly come up with its report on the Public Health Emergency Bill 2021.
The Chinese embassy in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Will The Public Have Access to The Security Treaty with China After Signing?

The security treaty with China has been initialed by senior representatives, the first step towards actual signing of the agreement. It is not clear whether there were changes made to the draft that was leaked publicly.
The capital city Honiara has seen roads flooded on Friday after heavy downpour.

Heavy Rain Warning Active for Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands Meteorological services (METS) has issued a heavy rain warning for most of the provinces as of 7am today morning.
“If it wasn’t for the leak document, the security treaty would be kept a secret from citizens of this country. It is even surprising how the security deal was quick to be signed after it was leaked last week. Why is this even a priority issue?” he questioned.

Security Treaty with China Hatched Secretly, Says Former Prime Minister

Former Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Small Malaita Hon Rick Houenipwela says the security treaty with China was supposed to be a secretly orchestrated deal.
One of the greenest ships in the fleet, Spey has also worked with regional partners to carry out environmental and hydrographic surveys as well as water sampling to aid studies on climate change.

UK Royal Navy Patrol Vessel Will Transit Through Solomon Islands Today

Royal Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel HMS Spey, one of the Royal Navy’s most modern ships, will transit Solomon Islands territorial waters, including close to the capital, Honiara, on 4th and 5th April as part of its first tour of the South Pacific.
Solomon Airlines has also announced an additional Honiara to Brisbane flight on 7 April available to Australia-bound passengers. Flight IE700 will depart Honiara at 5.00pm, arriving in Brisbane at 7.15pm.

Solomon Airlines Says Nadi to Honiara Flight Rescheduled to 7 April

Solomon Airlines has confirmed its planned repatriation flight from Fiji has been rescheduled to the new departure date of 7th April subject to Government approval, allowing more time to accommodate travelers seeking to return to Solomon Islands.