Quarantined Samoans to arrive on Saturday

Six Samoan nationals, who were flown to New Zealand from Wuhan and quarantined for 14 days, are scheduled to arrive in the country on Saturday after they were cleared of the coronavirus.

The group comprised three students, an ex-student, a spouse and one dependent who were part of between 50-60 Pacific Islanders who were evacuated in an Air New Zealand charter flight early February.

They are still in quarantine at the Whangaparaoa military base and taken care of by the New Zealand Government.

One of the Samoans still in quarantine, who asked that he is not identified, told the Samoa Observer they will return to the country this Saturday, February 22 but their flight details are yet to be confirmed.

He said they have been looked after well at the military facility and the New Zealand Government has gone out of its way to make them comfortable.

“We are coming home in a few days and no one has to worry because we’re all safe and no one is infected. So far our stay here at the quarantine site has been safe and comfortable,” he said in an interview. “When we left Wuhan there were about 200 of us evacuated, about 50 or 60 were Pacific Islanders. We are given breakfast, lunch and dinner at the quarantine site. It is also a must for us to have a medical checkup everyday so that the doctors can keep track of our health.”

According to the quarantined resident, their host provides breakfast, lunch and dinner and also get to check the residents on a daily basis to monitor for symptoms of the virus. 

He added that the use of hand sanitiser to ensure infection is kept at bay is encouraged for all those in quarantine.

Giving a glimpse of life at the military facility since their arrival from the Chinese city of Wuhan early in the month, the resident said they go for walks, read the Bible and pray. 

“Usually at 5pm local time, me and my friend work out and exercise. The quarantine area is quite spacious and there is also a hiking trail that we use every day for our evening walks,” he added. “A huge fence surrounds the area due to the fact that it is a quarantine area and a military base. We are being well taken care of. People here at the site monitor us and clean our rooms on a daily basis. We also read the Bible and pray for our protection."

With the death toll from the virus now at over 1,000 and close to 70,000-plus infections mainly in China, countries around the world continue to evacuate their nationals.

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