Govt. prepared to shut schools if coronavirus hits

The Minister of Education Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, says the Government has a plan in place for schools in the event that the coronavirus (COVID-19) hits Samoa. 

Loau told Samoa Observer that the Government has no other option but to close down all schools if the global pandemic reaches Samoan shores.

“Hopefully, this disease doesn’t reach our shores and if it does, the Government and the Ministry already have policies to await these kinds of dangerous diseases,” he said.

“There would be no other option but to close down schools if it happens. Maybe have the children educated from their homes.”

The same goes for sporting activities, which Loau said cannot continue if a state of emergency is to be declared, while comparing the same response that other countries have taken to the virus.

Three days ago, the World Health Organisation (W.H.O) declared the virus a pandemic now encompassing 112 countries and regions.

The virus, which originated from Wuhan in China, recorded its eighth victim in New Zealand on Sunday.

The New Zealand government has imposed strict quarantine measures on incoming passengers, in response to the looming threat posed by the contagion. 

Samoa’s health authorities have also refuted reports of a case at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital (TTM), saying the rumours were baseless. 

The Ministry of Health (M.O.H) denied the reports and said they were not supported by any evidence as all ongoing investigations have found no cases, either suspected or confirmed. 

But one concerned citizen, Anitele’a Faimasolo, could not help but worry while speaking to the Samoa Observer.

“As far as I know, this is how the measles crisis started. I cannot help but worry, especially since I heard this is far more dangerous than the measles,” she said. 

“I have four kids and I love them so much. I would still advise our country to stay prepared. We might not have it today but soon it can reach our lands since it has already hit New Zealand.”

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