Two students who were in close contact with the first positive COVID-19 student have both tested negative.

The two students were amongst those that recently returned from the Philippines.

The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Pauline McNeil confirmed the results in a media conference this afternoon.

“The Gene Xpert and the QPCR equipments were used to cross validate the results”, Ms. McNeil says.

Despite the negative test results both students are quarantined at the isolation unit at the National Referral Hospital (NRH). Decision on the length of their quarantine will be made by the Oversight Committee.

As it stands Solomon Islands only has one confirmed case of COVID-19 so far. The COVID-19 positive student is also currently at the NRH isolation facility.

In his nationwide address yesterday, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare confirmed that case investigation has commenced.

"This process includes informing our representatives in Manila to ensure that persons who came into contact with the infected student in Manila are also informed and necessary precautions put in place,” Sogavare says.

"Frontline staff who came into contact with the affected student will also be quarantined and tested.

“We are prepared for this eventuality. We stand with our students remaining in the Philippines and those in quarantine and also with their parents,” the Prime Minister has said.

He says the Government has activated the various elements, protocols and standard operating procedures of its preparedness plans.