Medevac flies 12 suspected coronavirus samples to N.Z. for testing

Samples from twelve suspected cases of coronavirus in Samoa have been flown to New Zealand for testing, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has confirmed.

The samples were taken on Tuesday utilising a medical evacuation flight which had flown in from New Zealand to pick up a patient at the Faleolo International Airport.

The Prime Minister did not say who the patient was.

But he said the Government saw the opportunity to fly the samples to New Zealand, where Samoa had been sending tests prior to the border shutdown and the cancellation of commercial flights.

The samples had been stored at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital lab and were intended to be tested when testing kits from China arrived. To date, the testing kits have not arrived.

Talking about medevac flight on Tuesday, Tuilaepa said no one was allowed to leave the aircraft. He said only the unnamed patient was allowed to enter.

He added that although the airport is closed, it would continue to be used for medical evacuations when the need arises.


Prime Minister Tuilaepa also confirmed a meeting with the National Council of Churches on Tuesday.

Ahead of Good Friday and the Easter Weekend, the Prime Minister said the N.C.C. was informed that the Government would continue with the current State of Emergency lockdown orders until next Tuesday.

He said that is when the last 17 passengers being quarantined at sea on Lady Samoa II are expected to be given the all clear.  

“So there is an opportunity then to review some of the restrictions with the idea of loosening some of them,” he said.

“We’re looking at next Tuesday, it’s not long now.”









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