DRIFTING SOLOMON ISLANDERS TESTED FOR COVID-19

Five men from Temotu Province in Solomon Islands have been rescued after drifting in their fiberglass boat for almost a month.

They were found drifting near Asanvari village in south Maewo on Wednesday this week, said Paul Rihu, a community leader on the island.

“One of the men from the village had to swim towards their boat and he helped them ashore.

“They were found on their boat with a tarpaulin and bucket.

“They said their boat drifted because of rough seas and bad weather.

“One of the men was very weak but he has been treated.

“They were welcomed and taken into the community. They are being fed and accommodated at the 'nakamal' (community hall)."

Mr Rihu told the Daily Post yesterday that some of the locals that came in contact with the Solomon Islanders are now being isolated, following the arrival of a delegation comprising border authorities from Port Vila.

“Locals shook hands with them because it is the Vanuatu way of making people feel welcome, wherever they are,” he said.

The officials that came from Port Vila took samples from the Solomon Islanders for COVID-19 tests, he conveyed. 

Police at Saratamata on Ambae confirmed the delegation was in Maewo yesterday for assessment.

The Police officers added they could not go to Maewo because they were not trained to handle COVID-19 related situations.

Daily Post could not get a comment from authorities and the COVID-19 Spokesperson before print yesterday.

Like Vanuatu, Solomon Islands is coronavirus free.

Both Solomon Islands and Vanuatu responded swiftly to COVID-19 suspected cases and have no community transmission to date.

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