Govt. monitors virus developments with eye on imports

The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Lopao’o Natanielu Mua, says the Government is closely monitoring agriculture-related imports from China in light of the coronavirus.

Lopao’o, who is currently in Fiji for a meeting, said so far, Samoa has not placed restrictions on imports from coronavirus affected countries.

Other countries like Indonesia have already set a temporary stop on live animals import from China.

They are also considering the possibility of banning the importation of other products as fear grows that coronavirus could spread into the country through imports. 

In Samoa, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour C.E.O., Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling, said concerns about the quality of imports, especially meat, is an issue for the Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) to deal with under the Food Act and the Ministry of Agriculture. 

Pulotu also cleared misunderstanding that M.C.I.L. is responsible for quality of imports, pointing out that they are only responsible once these products become available in shops throughout Samoa.

He added that M.C.I.L. does work together with the M.O.H. and other Government ministries. 

Furthermore, the .C.E.O. said as the spread of the coronavirus and its risks increases there is a possibility that some restrictions will be issued in terms of import. 

“But at the moment there has been no such warning on that,” he said. 

In China, the country has temporarily shut down its seafood imports over coronavirus fears.  

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