Honiara goes into further 4-day lockdown as Covid cases soar

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has announced a new four day lockdown for Solomon Islands' capital Honiara starting on Tuesday evening.

More than 200 new cases were recorded over the weekend with the Prime Minister warning that case numbers would climb as testing continues.

Health Minister Culwick Togamana told the ABC that authorities were facing a major challenge to contain the outbreak.

“The COVID-19 community transmission occurred before we detected the first case, it has already spread,” said Dr Culwick.

He said the country could only do 180 tests every 12 hours and modelling showed that cases could be in the thousands.

One death has been linked to COVID-19 but Dr Togamana told ABC Radio Australia that the person had pre-existing conditions.

Only 20 percent of Solomon Islands’ eligible population have been immunised but the health minister said demand is growing with long lines at Honiara’s vaccination centre.

“This communication transmission is a blessing in disguise – the vaccination in many of the provinces has surged,” he said.

Dr Togamana said it was interesting that provinces like Central Islands Province were now imposing their own lockdowns to try and stop the spread of the virus.

Australia sent two military aircrafts on Sunday with medical supplies and PPE gear while China has donated funding and vaccines.


Photo source ZFM 99.5  Caption: Lockdown in Honiara