The National Health Emergency Operation Centre (NHEOC) of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services has activated it’s Emergency Response Plan’ last night to validate, track, and contain a potential COVID-19 outbreak.

The situation occurred when one of the students who returned from the first Philippine repatriation flight last year and was tested negative and discharged was again tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday this week.

This is 62 days after being released.

The student who was in Malaita province was contacted to go for his follow-up review and re-swabbing at the Kilufi hospital on Monday this week.

His swab was transferred to the Honiara Molecular Lab where it was found to be positive for COVID-19 with the GeneXpert machine.

The swab was collected at 10:30 pm Wednesday night and re-swabbed and the result by GeneXpert machine now returned negative.

Meanwhile, a government statement said, they are now waiting for the result on the qPCR machine.

It said, they are also expecting a negative result from the qPCR machine.

Based on this result, the NHEOC immediately swung into action and managed to locate the student who had travelled to Honiara from Auki by boat yesterday.

The Ministry also dispatched an ‘emergency field team this morning to the village where the student stayed to carry out contact tracing, undertake community awareness, and to swab every person in the village.
NHEOC also conducted an initial risk assessment based on the two results and it is very unlikely that the virus was effective.
The student is now recovering at the Field hospital.

People were advised to remain calm as the student was now tested negative for COVID-19.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare will provide further updates tomorrow on this situation.


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