W.H.O. to continue coronavirus assistance

By Vaelei Von Dincklage 13 March 2020, 3:00AM

The World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) will continue to assist countries build their defenses against the novel coronavirus through technical support and building their capacity.

Dr Rasul Baghirov – who is the W.H.O. Representative for Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau – gave the undertaking according to a statement which was issued to the media by the Samoa Government. 

"All countries under the country office's purview will continue to receive technical support to build their capacity in clinical management, risk assessments and risk communications as part of COVID-19 country preparations," he said.

The W.H.O. will work closely with the M.O.H. to prevent the virus reaching the shores of Samoa and also to teach the public on how to prepare themselves for COVID-19, added the Ministry’s statement.

As part of the health officials’ advocacy and awareness efforts, the public has been given instructions on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, by adopting a proper hand washing and coughing etiquette.

The Samoa Government recently received infrared thermometers to assist with the screening of incoming passengers at ports of entry and healthcare facilities. 

Government officials have also received personal protective equipment (P.P.E) including medical masks, gloves and surgical gowns for doctors, nurses and patients to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"Samoans are still reeling, however, from the 83 deaths due to the outbreak and affected families are receiving psycho social support from the Ministry of Health," added the press release.

The Health Emergency Operations Committee (H.E.O.C.) – which was established to manage the measles epidemic – has now shifted to preventing and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Samoa.

The H.E.O.C is chaired by Leausa Dr Take Naseri, who is the Director General of M.O.H., has been monitoring the global and regional spread of COVID-19 and has put in place several prevention measures.

"Our prevention measures includes screening at all ports of entry for persons with flu-like symptoms, tracing their movements from affected countries and providing prevention advice to all inbound and outbound travellers,” he said in a statement. “Various W.H.O guidelines - clinical, surveillance, patient management, isolation are also being implemented.”

By Vaelei Von Dincklage 13 March 2020, 3:00AM

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