Solomon Islands PM reiterates ‘get vaccinated now’, 22 students and dependents in Fiji tested positive


Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare reiterates his call for all citizens to be vaccinated to protect the nation from any possible community transmission in the the country any time soon.

In the same note, he also highlighted the importance of getting the vaccines in time before it’s too late to be vaccinated and protect the nation.

He made the call on the national broadcaster during his fortnightly nation-wide address, Monday this week.

“Please I urge all of you 18 years and over to take Covid-19 vaccination seriously do not wait until there is an outbreak, do it now visit the vaccination centres or go to vaccination centres when our vaccination team come to your area.

“Do not wait for community spread to come before you decide, do not wait for loved ones to pass away from Covid-19 before you decide, if that happens that already too late to stop the spread of the virus and already too late to vaccinate,” he said.

Sogavare said the country don’t have to wait for the virus to reach our communities before people accept the vaccination.

Sogavare also wants local people to learn from our neighbouring countries such as Fiji and Papua New Genuine and vaccinate to ensure that this country is in much better position to prevent community transmission in the event the Covid-19 virus breaches the borders.

“The vaccines we are using are effective against the Delta Variant of Covid-19 that is driving the new surge of infectious around the world.

“They have been shown to reduce hospitalisations by 92%, reduces chances of getting infected by almost 70%.

“In order for us to protect our youths and children below 18 years of age, everyone above 18 years of age must get be vaccinated.

“Non-vaccinated people have no protection at all,” he said.

Sogavare further added that if the whole 414, 500 adults in the country are vaccinated this constitute about 64% of the country’s population which would offer some level of protection to the other 36% of our population that cannot be vaccinated.

He said that those who are cannot be vaccinated rely on those of who can be vaccinated for their protection, for their lives.

“If we do not vaccinate, we put at risk not only our lives and the lives of our families but we put at risk the lives of another 235, 000 plus Solomon Islanders that cannot be vaccinated because they are under 18 years of age,” he said.

Government will try its limited resources to keep the virus in bay and eliminate it from quarantine stations and make sure no community transmission.

Meanwhile, 22 local students studying in Fiji have so far been tested positive for Covid-19.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has confirmed this during his nationwide address on Monday.

Sogavare said the situation in Fiji is extremely worrying for the local students, parents and the government.

He said a total of 22 of the students and dependents have been infected by the virus.

“13 have now been declared active by the Fiji Ministry of health and 9 remain active.

“All 22 cases are asymptomatic,” he said.

He said the country’s High Commissioner in Suva, the education attaché and other Solomon Islanders living in Suva have been supporting these students that were in isolated when they were infected.

With this worrying situation, PM Sogavare said the Oversight Committee have discussed the Fiji situation and will advise him and the Cabinet on the situation.

He said currently the country had approximated 850 students both government and privately sponsored students in all the training institutions in Fiji.

“Just over 50 of these have graduated and can return home, the rest will remain in Fiji,” he said.

However, he said the timing of any repatriation flight for the graduation students will be determine by the country’s health team and it will occur when it is safe for the country to repatriate the graduation students.

Given the highly transmission of the delta variant of the Covid-19 virus which is in Fiji, the PM said; “it is not the good time to undertake and repatriation flight from Fiji to Solomon Islands right now because we import delta variant cases into the country.

“It can spread very quickly and have a devastated effect on our population,” he said.

Sogavare said his government will consider ways to provide support the graduating and continuing students in Fiji while continually assessing the situation there.

Over the past days, Fiji had recorded more than a thousand cases per day.