Solomon Islands

Pacific Games Stadium in Solomon Islands a step closer

A number of projects funded by China were scheduled to get underway this year, including the construction of a national stadium in Honiara, before the Covid-19 pandemic led to the closure of borders and travel restrictions.

The Solomons government said the construction of new venues for the Games was back on track, with a design team from China working with local authorities.

The project includes a 10,000-seat national stadium, an aquatic centre, a six-court tennis centre and a full-sized track and field venue.

Solomon Islands has first case of Covid-19

The case was a student who had been repatriated from the Philippines earlier in the week.

He tested positive upon arrival, despite passing three earlier tests before departure while awaiting his flight.

The student, who was asymptomatic, was now in isolation with two other close contacts.

Front-line staff were also being assessed.

When announcing the case, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the preparedness and response measures the government had worked on implementing over the past eight months had now been activated.

Two die in Solomon Islands bomb blast

   Police said the two, an Australian and a British citizen, were working for a Norwegian aid agency conducting a survey on unexploded ordnance.

The agency has named them as Trent Lee and Stephen Atkinson.

Inspector Clifford Tunuki said police were working overnight to clear the site of the explosion, which took place in a residential area in west Honiara.

Investigators will try to determine why explosives were present at a block of residential flats, which also serve as the project office.

More Solomon Islands students contract Covid-19 in the Philippines

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said this now brought to 12 the number of students who had contracted the coronavirus there.

All had been asymptomatic.

The latest six are from a group of 144 students scheduled to be on one of two repatriation flights next week.

They had undergone the first of three tests before the flight.

The Solomon Star newspaper reported the results were received by the government on Tuesday.

Sogavare said students who had tested negative were staying in two hotels while waiting for repatriation flights on 27 and 29 September.

Solomons students in Philippines test positive for Covid-19

This was confirmed by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Sunday.

"We have spoken with some parents. We will continue our efforts to contact and speak with the other parents. Some students have already informed their parents," Sogavare said.

It comes after months of failed appeals for repatriation from the Solomon Islands students association in the Philippines to Honiara, citing concerns for their personal safety.

The Philippines has had over 4000 Covid-19 deaths and well over 200,000 cases have been confirmed so far.

Chinese worker breaches quarantine in Solomon Islands

The worker flew into the Solomons with about 80 other Chinese nationals, many of whom will construct stadia for the 2023 Pacific Games.

The Covid-19 Oversight Committee said the worker passed a package to a Chinese national outside of quarantine, who owns a hardware store in Honiara.

The Solomon Times reported that person had now been quarantined at the Pacific Casino for 14 days.

The Ministry of Health said it was continuing to investigate the breach.

Covid threatens construction timeline for 2023 Pacific Games

A number of projects funded by the Chinese government were scheduled to get underway this year, including the construction of a new national stadium in Honiara, while the Indonesian government had indicated the multi-purpose hall could be completed by the end of next year.

But the on-going effects of Covid-19 were beginning to bite, with design teams from China still unable to get on the ground.

Solomons’ mass repatriation exercise begins this week

Around 300 people are expected to be repatriated over the next two weeks.

The Secretary to the Prime Minister, Jimmy Rodgers, said the first flight from Brisbane would have 132 people on board.

He said another on Wednesday would bring 130 people from Fiji.

"Every country there is a second-phase of this virus going up," Mr Rodgers said.

"Instead of dropping our guard in this country it is now time for us to even tighten our guard further. Because now the reason is we are also looking at bringing our people home to safety."

Solomons’ local COVID-19 tests return negative

This was revealed by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in a national address on Friday.

Mr Sogavare said the country's newly established testing facilities have the potential to carry out more than 3000 tests although the current capacity is at around 500.

He said so far four people who displayed symptoms of COVID-19 have been tested locally.

"Therefore, we have undertaken a total of 17 COVID-19 tests altogether, 13 done overseas and four done in country. All results, negative," Mr Sogavare said.

2023 Pacific Games confident of avoiding Covid-19 delays

A number of big projects funded by the Chinese government were scheduled to get underway this year, including the construction of the new national stadium in Honiara, while the Indonesian government had indicated the multi-purpose hall could be completed by the end of next year.

Lead advisor to the National Hosting Authority, Clint Flood, said the majority of facilities were still in the design stage and they did not expect Covid-19 would impact the construction timeline at this stage.