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The Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, is in lockdown as it fights against a massive upsurge in Covid-19.

The Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, is in lockdown as it fights against a massive upsurge in Covid-19.

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Pacific Region

Solomon Islands goes for mass vaccination campaign amid Covid-19 upsurge

The Solomon Islands capital Honiara is in lockdown as it fights against an upsurge in Covid-19.

The Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, is in lockdown as it fights against a massive upsurge in Covid-19.

The first two deaths were reported this week - a 51-year-old woman and a 59-year-old man who had pre-existing health conditions.

To try to curb the outbreak, health authorities are undertaking a mass Covid-19 vaccination and testing campaign.

Senior technical advisor to the Health Ministry, Dr Yogesh Choudri told RNZ News that health workers will be focusing on testing those who are living in the hotspots of the outbreak.

“Our plan is to go to the hotspots in Honiara first, pick up all the symptomatic cases.

“Also we’ll be testing for asymptomatic from different houses in the hotspots to make sure we don’t miss out on any cases.”

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More than 50 of the 350 confirmed cases are health workers at the national hospital.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the outbreak started from Ontong Java island, but Honiara is now the centre of the outbreak.

Chamber of Commerce CEO Ricky Fuo'o says the lockdown is not good for their economy, still recovering from the riots last year.

"We'll be working with Government to try and see how we can deal with this going forward but this lockdown is definitely affecting private sector and businesses.

“We're just trying to recover from the unrest and then this one happens. The economy future for us here is not looking great at all for 2022."