National Emergency Operation Centre activated
The National Emergency Operation Centre has been activated by the Government following the proclamation of COVID-19 state of emergency.
Chairperson for the N.E.O.C., Ulu Bismarck Crawley, in a brief response to queries confirmed the activation of the Centre from the Post Office, in Matafele.
In a statement issued by the Government, it said: "The activation of N.E.O.C. is part of Samoa’s National Emergency Response Plan as per the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) under the National Disaster and Emergency Act 2007."
"N.E.O.C. will be the focal point providing collaboration and operational coordination amongst all stakeholders, with advice and technical guidance from the Ministry of Health for the duration of the Emergency Period."
The last time the Centre was activated was during in November 2019 for the measles epidemic.
Its operation is to manage incidents in the field and assist in the formation of action plan as well as logistics for delivering resources and services to support functions.
Furthermore, one of its responsibility is the community welfare to coordinate evacuation centre activation and support with sectors, Government ministries and village response team.
During the measles epidemic, N.E.O.C. was responsible for releasing official information about the measles situation.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi announced on Friday evening the declaration of Samoa’s state of emergency to be effective on midnight Friday for 14 days. The State of Emergency orders are listed as follow:
A National fasting and prayer:
A national period of fasting and prayer is to be observed by every family in Samoa from Sunday 22 March 2020 until Saturday 29 March 2020 from 6.00am – 12.00pm daily.
All international travelers, travelling to Samoa are prohibited from entering Samoa unless:
the traveler is a returning citizen or resident of Samoa; and
that returning resident or citizen has undergone a 5 day medical clearance before entering Samoa.
There shall be only 3 flights between Samoa and New Zealand, for each carrier and each carrier must not exceed carriage of 490 passengers per week to Samoa.
There shall be only 1 flight between Samoa and Australia per week.
The following flights are suspended until further notice – between: Samoa and Tonga; Samoa and Fiji; Samoa and American Samoa.
All travel plans for overseas countries under the seasonal worker schemes which includes RSE, SWP, PLS) is hereby stopped until further notice.
All travel plans for overseas countries for scholarship purposes are hereby stopped until further notice.
All operators of Public transport (buses and taxis) are ordered to cease operation until further notice.
Travel between Upolu and Savaii is reduced to travel weekly on the following days:
Mondays; Wednesdays; Fridays.
There shall be no public gathering of more than 5 people at any public place.
There shall be no public gatherings of any sort which include but are not limited to:
Church gatherings; Sports events; Entertainment gatherings.
All nightclubs, bars, theatres or any public place people accustom for social gatherings are to be closed.
All people are prohibited from gathering at airports or wharves unless it is for permitted travel.
The operation of public transport such as buses and vans that carry more than 5 people are prohibited. Operators of public transport that carry 5 people or less are permitted to continue operation.
Travel between Upolu and Savaii is restricted to three days a week as follows:
Sundays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
The Savalalo, Fugalei, Salelologa, Vaitele markets, and all other flea markets or any market which the public have access to, are only permitted to open from 6.00am – 4.00pm after which a curfew will be in force from 4.00pm to 6.00am daily.
Every person is required to return home by 4.00pm and are not permitted to sleep at any market.
There shall be no selling of any goods beside roads, street, culverts or footpaths.
Children selling goods in public is strictly prohibited.
All schools are to close until further notice.
Access to Health Facilities:
All persons of the age of 60 and above are to remain at home and must not move out and about in public, unless he or she is seeking medical attention at any health facility.
All persons are prohibited from accessing any health facility unless he or she is seeking medical attention at any health facility.
A person that is admitted to the hospital may:
only have one carer to tend to him or her; and only be visited by 2 people at any one time.
All patient care intended for travel overseas under the Samoa Medical Treatment Scheme are hereby suspended until further notice.
Restriction for Government services:
The Public Service Commission (“Commission”) is to determine conditions in which employees are to continue working under, with the objective of ensuring minimal spread of infection.
The Commission’s conditions shall apply to all Government Ministries and Public Bodies.
All Government trips overseas are hereby suspended until further notice.
Ministry of Health duties:
The Ministry of Health shall ensure to implement awareness programmes for the prevention of the spread the Covid-19.
Samoa Police Service:
The Samoa Police Service shall implement this Order.
Special Powers of Government Chief Executive Officers:
All Chief Executive Officers of Government Ministries and Public Bodies are empowered to exercise their statutory functions, duties and powers provided under any legislation, or administrative functions for the implementation of the Sector Preparedness and Response Matrix Consolidated for Corona Virus Pandemic.
The financing of the implementation of this Order shall be funded by the appropriate budget approved by the Government.
This Order remains in force as long as the Proclamation of Emergency is in force.