Dr Rodgers warns Delta Variant can seriously affect Solomon Islands than Fiji

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Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr Jimmy Rodgers warns Solomon Islands could be seriously affected by the delta variant of COVID-19 than the current situation in Fiji if all who are eligible do not get vaccinated.

Dr Rodgers made the assurance when he participated in a talk back show via zoom from Fiji.

He said the delta variant of COVID-19 is serious and can affect the country if there is a community transmission.

“Among other things that Fiji has done it well is the screening by mobile teams and clinics. So far since April, they screened more than one million cases. This shows the capacity that Fiji has to screen anyone and everyone in its contact tracings.

“I have mentioned these figures ‘Wantoks’ because if we have the delta variant of COVID-19 in Solomon Islands, I don’t think that we have the capacity to do such screening in Solomon Islands,” Dr Rodgers said.

Dr Rodgers assures Solomon Islands needs to step up with its testing capabilities if there is a community transmission of the virus.

He said about 440,000 of the eligible population in Fiji get their first doses of vaccines which represents nearly 75 percent of the target population.

He said Solomon Islands still has enough time to vaccinate all who are eligible.

“Solomon Islands began its vaccination before Fiji. So far, Fiji has reached nearly half a million of those who get vaccinated. Solomon Islands has enough time to catch up with its vaccination because if the virus reached our shores and transmitted into the community, the only way to protect ourselves is to get vaccinated,” Dr Rodgers said.

Meanwhile, Chair of the Technical Working Group in the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Dr Nemiah Bainivalu said Solomon Islands has conducted a total of 14,307 tests as of last Friday.

Dr Bainivalu said majority of the tests are those for screening purposes at the quarantine centers and follow up checks.

He said the Ministry is planning to expand its testing capabilities in the provinces.

Dr Bainivalu said roughly about 40,404 doses of both AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines were used in the current vaccination roll out.

Of the total doses, only about 10. 000 people have been fully vaccinated.

The Technical Working Group Chair adds, roughly about 18, 000 people of the eligible population are yet to receive their second doses.

He called on those eligible to get vaccinated against the virus.

SOURCE: SIBC/PACNEWS