Australian medical support to boost Solomon Islands COVID-19 response

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The Hon Peter Dutton MP

Minister for Defence

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Defence Media:

Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Women

Senator the Hon Zed Seselja

Minister for International Development and the Pacific

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23 January 2022

Joint media release: 

  • Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne
  • Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja

A Royal Australian Air Force C-17A aircraft arrived in Honiara today carrying the first of two shipments of an Australian package of emergency medical supplies to support the Solomon Islands Government respond to the nation’s escalating COVID-19 outbreak. 

The 19 tonne package includes 100 oxygen concentrators and eleven COVID-19 country kits, which include PPE (masks, gloves, sanitizer, infection control equipment), medical supplies and equipment to help manage and contain the outbreak. 

The two flights will also deliver a total of six tonnes of UNICEF emergency water and sanitation and dignity kits.

In addition to this immediate COVID-19 support, the Australian Government is rapidly procuring a second tranche of medical equipment. This includes a new GeneXpert machine and testing equipment (for COVID-19 test processing); a mobile cool room and back-up incinerator for waste management for the National Referral Hospital; and a replacement forklift and new incinerator for the National Medical Stores. 

Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women said Australia was committed to standing with our friend and neighbour as it faces significant pressure on its health system. “Australia and Solomon Islands know the importance of partnership. Responding to this current COVID-19 outbreak together is no exception,” Minister Payne said.

Minister for Defence, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, said “tackling COVID-19 is a global challenge and I am pleased the ADF can support Solomon Islands’ pandemic response. This comes on top of the ADF’s deployment of personnel to Honiara in November last year to help the Solomon Islands Government restore law and order”.

Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, noted “this support, at a difficult time for Solomon Islands, comes on the back of 263,000 AstraZeneca vaccines doses that we’ve delivered since the beginning of the pandemic. We’re partnering closely with Solomon Islands Government to identify any additional support required.” 

Australia continues to stand with our Pacific Family in the face of challenges. The Australian Government is committed to supporting the people of Solomon Islands manage this COVID-19 outbreak. 

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