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Head of State's absence during measles crisis explained

The absence of the Head of State, His Highness Tuimalealiifano Va'aletoa Sualauvi II, during the measles crisis that has already claimed 63 lives, has been explained.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Agafili Shem Leo, told the Samoa Observer the Head of State has been outside of the country and his trip was endorsed by Cabinet. 

He is scheduled to return to Samoa today.

“I can’t say [whether he’s away on personal or government business]; but I can say that the Head of State's trip overseas was approved by Cabinet," Agafili said. 

“He’s due to return into the country sometime this week and he is healthy."

He stressed that the Head of State's absence was “officially endorsed by Cabinet.” 

Since the Government declared a state of emergency on 15 November 2019, the Member of the Council of Deputies, Le Mamea Tuiletufuga Ropati Mualia, has been acting as the Head of State in signing the orders. 

The Samoa Observer reached out to his Ulugia Mareko Tulouna, the Private Secretary to the Head of State but messages were not responded as of press time.  

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