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Notorious prison escapee recovering from measles

A criminal and serial prison escapee who was in a critical condition after being diagnosed with measles a fortnight ago is recovering, says the Minister of Prisons, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt.

Notorious prisoner Aniseko Vaelei failed to appear in Court twice this month after saying he had contracted measles.

He was in a critical condition and was transferred to the Tupua Tamasese Meaole hospital for treatment earlier this month. 

The Minister of Prisons told the Samoa Observer that Vaelei is being isolated in a cell at Tanumalala prison and should be recovering soon. 

He added the prisoner was the only convict who refused to get vaccinated when the health team visited the prison to inject prisoners in October when the measles epidemic broke out. 

“He is being regularly checked and monitored,” said Tialavea. 

Vaelei did not appear in Court this week when he was due to attend one of his matters. 

The prosecution had informed the Court that the prisoner still has measles. 

Last month, Director General of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri said three prisoners had contracted measles. 

It could not be confirmed by the Minister if the other prisoners had recovered from the virus. 

Since the outbreak, Tanumalala prison had restricted the visits from prisoners’ family members in an effort to prevent the spread of measles at the prison facility. 

In early October Vaelei dashed for freedom from the new prison, adding Tanumalala to his serial record of prison breakouts at the now decommissioned Tafaigata prison. But he was recaptured by authorities shortly after his escape. 

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