Health Minister Dr. Culwick Togamana says 34 new cases of COVID-19 were detected in quarantine stations from returning passengers on repatriation flights, and says most are likely to be the Omicron variant.

The Health Minister gave the update during his COVID-19 situation update on the national broadcaster, SIBC.

“These include 25 cases among Fiji repatriation flight, and 9 from flight that came from Brisbane. All these cases coming from other countries are likely to be Omicron variant.

“These cases are being kept in managed isolation facilities and no one is admitted in the hospital. These cases will be kept in isolation until they are tested negative,” the Health Minister said.

He says close contacts of these people were identified and their quarantine has been extended to see if they develop COVID infection.

The Health Minister says he is concerned with reports that there is frequent mixing going on in our Quarantine Stations, which he says is illegal and the runs the risk of spreading the new Omicron variant.

The Health Minister says on a positive note, the vaccination roll out throughout the Solomon Islands is encouraging.

As of the 29th of March 2022, in the 18+ years category, 174,655 people have been fully vaccinated, representing 41% of the eligible population. 266,412 have received at least one dose of COIVID-19 vaccine representing 62% of the eligible population.