BY ALEX DADAMU
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has called for calm in his special address to the nation this afternoon in which he announced the first positive COVID-19 case being confirmed and recorded in the country.
According to Prime Minister Sogavare, the person who was tested positive was a student who was quarantined in Manila, Philippines before boarding the flight home.
“He was tested positive in negative in all 3 tests done in Manila – and that were a compulsory requirement that each student must meet before they were allowed to board the plane,” PM Sogavare said.
However, the prime minister revealed that when arrived in the country on Tuesday 29th September, as was the post arrival protocols of the country, the students were tested within 48 hours upon their arrival (First test) at Henderson Airport – that was when the student who was tested positive was picked up to be COVID-19 positive.
“A further specimen were collected for confirmation – that result will be available this evening,” PM Sogavare said.
He added that the Student who have been tested positive along with 2 other close contacts have since then been Isolated at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) Isolation Facility. The prime minister added that case investigation has commenced and is in progress while contact tracing has also been started.
As a result of the current situation, Prime Minister Sogavare has also revealed that the government will suspend the remaining repatriation flights to Manila and will do a review on the repatriation schedule which according to Sogavare, “that is to ensure that we are in full control of our domestic situation before allowing repatriation flight to continue.”
In the meantime, despite the unfortunate situation the country is facing, Prime Minister Sogavare assured the nation that the preparedness and response measures that the Government has diligently been implementing over the past 8 months has been activated and are now in full operation.
“The operation, Cooperation, Simulation and exercises has not been in vain and the government is confident of its capacity to respond, contained and managed the situation to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of the public is maintained,” Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare assured the public in his special address today.
Sunday Isles understands that there will be no lockdown and it will be business as usual following the announcement today.