Posted on 28 February 2022
Frontline health workers in the Solomon Islands have warned that its health system is on the brink of collapse as the country struggles to deal with a devastating outbreak of Covid-19.
The National Referral Hospital (NRH) in the Solomon Islands is now mainly filled with patients requiring Covid-related medical care and support. A second and third field hospital has been established to boost the country’s medical response capabilities. The main hospital has scaled back its operations to critical care (births and emergencies only). Outpatient services have been shut down.
There have been reports of PPE shortages, particularly masks, to support people in the provinces to access their commercial centers. Mask mandates are currently in place at all commercial centers. There is also a lack of access to rapid-antigen testing throughout the provinces. Major donors have supported at least 400,000 RATs to date, but distribution to the health clinics out from the provincial centers is still limited.
Meanwhile, American Samoa had its first case of Covid last week and has gone into ‘Code red’, meaning people must stay home, be vaccinated, wear masks and only essential services are open. More travelers to the Cook Islands have tested positive while they continue to keep the borders open. French Polynesia continues to have high numbers of cases, but has dropped the fine for those defying mandatory vaccination to $US475 after protests.