Government Admit ‘Concern’ Over New Strain of COVID-19 from UK

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The activeness of COVID-19 strain from UK raises new concern in the Solomon Islands.

BY ALEX DADAMU

WITH the latest announcement of another positive COVID-19 case in the country, the total number of registered cases in the country has risen to 17. Of the 17, six are now negative, and 11 remain positive.

Of the 11 cases, 10 are our soccer players that returned from England on 25 October 2020.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his nationwide address this afternoon, has raised concerns regarding the virulence of the COVID-19 strain that came in from the United Kingdom.

According to Prime Minister Sogavare, these players have now been in the country for 4 weeks.

However, unlike the cases that came from the Philippines and Korea that converted to negative within 2 to 3 weeks, the strain from the UK is still positive after 4 weeks.

“This finding has fully vindicated our testing protocol whereby we require 3 consecutive negative tests after the person tested positive before they can be released from the quarantine station to a lower level (step down) quarantine facility for another week before being released home.

“If we had followed the current global practice of releasing these persons without further testing on day 14 after they tested positive, we would have released people that are still positive into the community and started a community transmission of the virus,” Prime Minister Sogavare pointed out.

The next test of the soccer players is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday 24 November 2020. It is understood that this will be the 30th day after their return to the Solomon Islands.

“It is my hope that most, if not all of them will come back negative so that the numbers of active cases in our country can reduce from the current 11 cases to a lower figure,” Prime Minister Sogavare expressed.