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.
Mr. Togamana says the huge increase in COVID-19 cases from the average of 4-5 a day to 48 a day, is a huge concern for the health ministry. He says this has prompted them to prepare for a possible second wave.
“Given the rate in which new cases have grown over the last three days, there is every possibility that if we do not act urgently and we do not act together, the second wave will have a major impact on the life of people and our health system”.
Already the National Referral Hospital (NRH) is feeling the brunt of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases. The hospital has seen an influx in patient arrivals with COVID-19 like symptoms, with the ward allocated for COVID-19 patients now reaching its maximum capacity.
The Central Field Hospital, established to take care of COVID-19 patients, was recently closed due to the low number of patients. It seems likely it will be re-opend for COVID-19 admissions.
In the initial community outbreak of COVID-19, the National Referral Hospital (NRH) was not able to cope with the pressure, with patients being made to sleep on the hospital floor due to lack of beds.
Now with the resurgence of COVID-19 the health system, particularly the NRH in Honiara, will once again be tested and quite likely stretched.
Health Minister Togamana urges all Solomon Islanders to continue to abide by the measures imposed by the health ministry.
“We have to recognize that the more we travel, the greater the potential for the spread of the virus. That means wearing a mask when you are in public/private transport whether on land or sea, masking up and social distancing at all times are so critical. One should not travel between provinces if one is sick or has been a contact of a COVID case”, Togamana said.