Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare will be making a nationwide address today at 3pm, the address will provide an update on the student that was tested positive for COVID-19 after being released from quarantine.

The student was in Malaita province where his follow-up review and re-swabbing at Kiluúfi hospital was done on Tuesday 26th January 2021. His swab was transferred to the Honiara Molecular Laboratory the same day where it was found to be positive for COVID-19 with the GeneXpert machine.

The student, unaware of his positive status, travelled to Honiara from Auki by boat on Wednesday 27th January 2021. He was located by health authorities and tests were conducted 10.30pm that night, the result turned out negative.

A third test was said to be done to validate the results. It is not yet certain when the results will be made known to the public, but it is expected that the Prime Minister will give an update during his address today.

Health officials are tightlipped about the tests, only to say that the result will be released through official channels. The National Health Emergency Operation Centre (NHEOC) of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) has already activated its’ Emergency Response Plan’ to validate, track, and contain a potential COVID-19 outbreak.

The Ministry had also despatched an ‘emergency field team’ 6am yesterday morning by a Solomon Airlines Charter to travel to the village where the student stayed during the past few weeks. The team will return to Honiara today with the swabs for analysis.

Officials say that based on the two results using the GeneXpert machine, and the nature and characteristics of Covid-19, it is very unlikely that the virus was infective. In other words, it is unlikely the student would infect other people.