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Covid-19: Three more deaths in Solomons

Thursday 27 January 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Regional, Solomon Islands

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Covid-19: Three more deaths in Solomons
The World Health Organization classified the new COVID-19 variant as a “variant of concern” due to its high mutation and transmission rate. The new strain is called “omicron.” Image/ Getty

Three more people have died of Covid-19 in Solomon Islands raising the national tally to five.

Health authorities confirmed the country's first two deaths on Tuesday.

Solomon Islands Minister of Health, Culwick Togamana.
Solomon Islands Minister of Health, Culwick Togamana. Photo: Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation

During a media conference on Thursday night, Health Minister Dr Culwick Togamana, said they are expecting more cases in the coming days.

He said community transmission was now widespread in the capital Honiara and some provincial areas.

"For the Western Province, a surge in flu-like illness was noted in Rukutu Village where we suspect a recent gathering involving those who travelled from Honiara and may have transmitted Covid-19.

New Mataniko bridge in Honiara
Capital of Solomon Islands, Honiara Photo: supplied

Our team has reached the village, distributed face masks, advised on Covid-19 safe measures and collected samples for testing in Gizo."

He said they are still waiting on lab results from Australia to determine the variant they are dealing with in the current outbreak.

Dr Togamana said the loss of staff has added challenges to the already overwhelmed health system.

More than 100 frontline workers in Solomon Islands have been infected with Covid-19 and are isolating.

"Our only national referral hospital [Honiara] is now compromised. Many staff from the Ministry of Health also tested positive and continue to work from isolation. Guadalcanal health teams have also reported six of its workers isolated at Good Samaritan - four have tested positive while the remaining two await the results."

Dr Togamana said 24 Honiara City Council health workers have also tested positive to Covid-19.