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Solomon Islands, Formerly one of the few countries that has It has remained free of COVID-19 throughout this global pandemic, she has She reported her first case.

Dorothy Wickham Reports from Honiara:

Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Mansi Sugafari, Just confirmed in a nationally televised address that a Solomon Islands student who was repatriated from the Philippines late last month tested positive for Covid-19.

“It pains me to say that we have lost our Covid-19 free status, despite our collective efforts to prevent the epidemic from entering our country.”

The student is in quarantine, but without symptoms. He was tested before leaving Manila – he came back negative – but he later tested positive in Honiara.

Sogavari said that contact tracing and testing of medical staff attending students are now taking place. All students who have returned on the return trip are subject to a compulsory quarantine for a period of 14 days. The injured student was transferred – along with two suspected cases – to hospital isolation facilities.

Sugafari reiterated that there are currently no confirmed cases of community transmission, and assured Solomon Islanders that there are no plans for any closures at this stage.

Citizens, while we were working to prevent the virus from reaching our shores, he is now with us. However … we are ready to get to know him … to isolate him … to contain him … and to eliminate him. “

Sogavare announced that all return flights for Solomon Islanders have been suspended until further notice.

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File photo of a child swimming in the Solomon Islands

Photo: Edward Kavanaugh / The Guardian

The Pacific Islands have largely escaped the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic – with very low case numbers – but there are concerns that if the virus were to take hold, it could spread rapidly among populations who live close together and have high rates of comorbidities and health systems. Fragile public and lack of resources.

While the virus has largely remained under control so far, Pacific economies, particularly those dependent on tourism, have been devastated by the pandemic. The economy of Fiji, one of the largest of the Melanesian countries, is expected to decline by more than 20% this year.

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