Flight attendant monitored, Ministry contacts passengers

Samoa's latest suspected case of coronavirus, a Malaysian woman who is a flight attendant for Samoa Airways, is still being monitored at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital.  

So said the Director General of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, in a video update released on the Government's Facebook page.

The flight attendant presented a high fever on Sunday night and was immediately isolated.

Leausa added that the crew who worked with the flight attendant have also been quarantined at Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey's Hotel on Beach Road.

“So far, treatment is going well," he said. "She did not have a fever in the last 24 hours."

Leausa said that his Ministry has contacted everyone who was on the flight with the suspected case.

“There were seventy six passengers on the flight she was on. On Monday, we mobilized eight surveillance teams that have gone out to talk to the passengers, this is what we call contact tracing.

“We use call centers and we advised all passengers that if they feel sick contact our ministry for assistance.”

He added that China offered 500 coronavirus test-kits that will be used to test samples that are being stored at their laboratory.

“It is because the samples could not be transported. If test-kits delay in arrival, we are also in contact with Pacific Community (S.P.C.) who is working closely with World Health Organisation (W.H.O.).”

He added that S.P.C. and W.H.O. have told them that around April Samoa might get a “cartridge” which will used for three health testing equipment on island.

“The testing equipment will be all ready to operate and to conduct testing of swaps from local patience if we get a cartridge.

“But with tests, it is only to confirm but it does not stop treatment and prevention. 

“Patients are receiving treatment before getting results back as a preventative measure for the safety of the Samoan people.”

Leausa added that they have to do what they have to do with the resources that they have.

He added that the crew that was accompanied by the Malaysian is being quarantined at Sheraton  

 “Judging by what is happening overseas the main cause behind it is because of travelling from one country to another.

“With New Zealand’s case, a lot of people that returned to their country before border shut down brought the disease.

“The virus is spread by people and not by anything else.”

He acknowledged the Government for closing its borders.

“It has given us the opportunity to see within our borders from the time it was close that if four to six weeks is up and we do not have any [coronavirus] cases then we can say that the virus has not reached our shores.

“And then we can start to open up some things but then we still need to be vigilant and alert of the virus.

“The other thing for us to be worried about is the second wave, because with any viral outbreaks; the majority of virus tend to have the first wave and then the second wave.

“I think that is what is happening with China that they have new cases and it could be because of people returning to the country.”

He added that these are the things they have to consider which is why members of the public are urged not to panic and just do what they have been advised to do such as washing hands.

“Some doctors believe that by staying home and not travelling, that could save many lives.

“Please continue to wash your hands frequently and also with social distancing of two meters between people because it seems that it can spread through coughing.

“And it is a great concern especially for those that have diabetes, high blood pressure and over 60 years old.”




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