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Don't be fearful, be faithful: Samoan in California

A Samoan living in California in the U.S.A. says people back home should not panic and follow Government instructions to address risks associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).

Joseph Betham, of Papauta, told Samoa Observer during an interview that the increase in coronavirus cases in America could be felt and seen in cities and towns across America with shops restricting customer entry over infection concerns and people putting social distancing into action.

America has overtaken Italy to lead the world with the largest number of COVID-19 cases with the Johns Hopkins University and Medicine Coronavirus Resource Centre recording 104,463 cases in America Saturday 5pm (Samoan local time), which was 17,965 more than Italy and 22,530 more than China where COVID-19 originated.

Mr Betham said the tension could be felt in the air, though a lot of people are getting on with their lives despite the increasing infections across the continent.

“People seem to keep their distance. You can feel it in the atmosphere; some shops are giving customers gloves. There’s a number limit of people who can go into stores depending on the stores,” he said.

“We do have the most cases now but Americans don’t seem to be bothered and some are going on with their daily lives. All the States in America have been affected by the coronavirus.”

When asked by Samoa Observer if he is prepared for the coronavirus, he said he is following Government instructions and is okay for now before quoting a verse in the bible.

“We just have to follow the procedures that the President gave us. We are okay, we have Jesus as it is stated in Psalms 91:10. There shall no evil befall thee, neither any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”

Increasing concerns over the impact of the virus has seen Samoan families buy in bulk from supermarkets in Apia, but Mr Betham cautioned the public, saying families in America did the same recently and are now trying to return the access goods. 

“Don’t bulk-buy because some people here are trying to return the goods that they purchased. Fear is the only thing that is going around. Follow the procedures that the Government gives you because they know what they are doing. Don’t be fearful, be faithful,” he added.

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