16 samples returned negative: MOH

The Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) has advised that a total of 25 samples from suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) cases have so far been sent abroad for testing.

Sixteen samples have come back negative with the results for nine (comprising the four samples sent to New Zealand on Tuesday and five awaiting transport) pending.

The M.O.H. released a statement at 7pm Thursday night (local time) giving the national update and adding that the tests were done for people with fever and flu-like symptoms with recent travel overseas in the past 14 days, and were reported through active surveillance.

“We are undertaking active surveillance to detect cases of COVID-19 in Samoa early. We will update the public regularly on the number of people meeting the criteria for COVID-19 testing and their test results,” the M.O.H. statement reads.

The Ministry did not say whether the samples that were sent to New Zealand for testing or awaiting transportation in Samoa were collected from travellers who are currently in quarantine for 14 days at various locations including four hotels. 

“We encourage all persons who have travelled or transited through countries affected by COVID-19 to monitor themselves for the development of fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have any of these symptoms please contact the Ministry of Health COVID-19 call centre or a doctor for advice.”

The M.O.H. has also appealed to travellers who returned recently to Samoa to self-isolate at home, and to ensure they stayed in a separate room from family members and used separate eating and drinking utensils.

“The Ministry of Health is taking full precautions and preventive measures, to control the transmission of COVID-19, including preparing the health system to treat and care for our patients.”

The public has also been urged to do their part to protect the country from the deadly virus.

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