Solomon Islands has lost its COVID-19 status after two returning passengers tested positive for COVID-19.

The two tested positive during routine tests at one of the managed isolation centers in Honiara.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare announced the two positive cases in a special nation wide address this afternoon.

He says one of the patient is a 10 year old boy who returned from a repatriation flight from Fiji and not vaccinated because of his age. The rest of his family tested negative.

The other is a person who returned from Dubai and was fully vaccinated.

Prime Minister Sogavare says that based on early assessments it is likely that the infection from the passenger who arrived from Fiji may be Delta while the one who returned from Dubai may be the Omicron.

Early studies seem to indicate that the Omicron appears better able to evade immunity. Studies also suggest COVID-19 vaccines will continue to dramatically limit severe disease and death, but may not be as good at preventing symptomatic disease caused by Omicron, compared to other strains.

Mr Sogavare said samples will be sent to Australia to confirm the type of variant as the country's lab cannot do genome sequencing.

Solomon Islands now have two active cases of COVID-19.

News Desk