Samoan woman and husband in quarantine

Two more people have now been placed in quarantine at the Faleolo Hospital under recently introduced measures to prevent the coronavirus reaching Samoan shores. 

The admission of a Samoan woman and her Kenyan husband to the medical isolation site at the hospital after arriving in the country on Sunday evening, brings the total number of those under quarantine to six. 

Those under confinement include two sailors and two students.

The couple, who traveled to China for business, arrived on Sunday and transited via Fiji for 10 days.

Under new restrictions incoming passengers to Samoa must spent 14 days in a country that is free of cases of the virus and receive medical clearance. 

The new measures have come after the first recorded death of a virus sufferer in Vietnam, the first outside China. 

A range of countries and their national airlines, including New Zealand, Australia and the United States have banned the arrival of foreign travellers from China. 

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that since the enforcement of new travel restrictions, a total of 18 passengers have been denied entry into the country.

Most of those denied entry and deported have been Chinese nationals, the head of the Government Press Secretariat, Nanai Laveitiga Tuiletufuga, told the Samoa Observer.

"The Ministry explained that the couple did not satisfy the self-quarantine protocol, hence why they have been detained for review," the Government said in a statement. 

"The latest Health Travel Advisory states that all travelers from Mainland China, must spend at least 14 days self-quarantine at country of last port that is free of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and must undergo medical clearance within [three]  days prior to final route to Samoa."

Countries or territories on the restricted list now include: Hong Kong, Thailand, Macau, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, the U.S., Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, France, Vietnam, Cambodia, Canada, Germany, the Ivory Coast, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Russia, Finland, the Philippines, India, Sweden and Sri Lanka. 

The list is updated every two days on the Ministry of Health's website. 

The Ministry of Health strongly recommends that all people intending to travel to China and any country affected by virus postpone their travel if possible. 

Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, shortness of breath and respiratory difficulties. 

Meanwhile,  quarantine is being expanded in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus is thought to have originated, as the disease’s overall national death toll passes 360.

There are at least 17,205 confirmed cases worldwide.

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