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Hold weekly virus workshops – Chinese Doctor

A Chinese doctor currently working at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital (T.T.M.) has recommended medical staff attend weekly lectures on the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.

Dr. An Lifeng, of the China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, facilitated a workshop at the T.T.M. conference room on Wednesday morning for staff in order to bring them up to date on the global pandemic.

“The pandemic is still going on and if any confirmed case gets here then it will be a disaster. This is a new disease, everyday we get new information, just like how to take samples or how to treat it,” he said, in an interview with Samoa Observer.

“It’s a medical problem, everyday things change, the treatment and diagnosis so we should be updated everyday and I recommend that every week our staff will listen to the lecture just like the one I gave.”

Dr. An is an otolaryngologist from China's northeastern Jilin Province, who came to Samoa nine months ago to work as a volunteer.

Praising the Samoa Government during the workshop for moving quickly to keep out COVID-19, the doctor said its intervention has ensured Samoa remains one of few countries in the world yet to be affected by the virus.

Making reference to a British Broadcasting Corporation article titled “ "Coronavirus: Where will be the last place to catch COVID-19?", Dr. An said he believes Samoa will be last to report a case or not get affected at all by coronavirus.

“I think prevention is better than treatment. COVID-19 has no vaccine yet so prevention is very important,” he said.


Pointing to the virus’ timeline from December 31, 2019 when China alerted the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) to unusual pneumonia cases, to the W.H.O. declaration of a COVID-19 global pandemic a month later, Dr An said Samoa has done well.

“I think Samoa has done an excellent job so far. It is really important to report to the M.O.H (Ministry of Health) if there are any suspected or confirmed cases here. Samoa has prepared very well.”

Dr. An said he will continue to share information and the experiences of his colleagues in China in terms of COVID-19 treatment with T.T.M. staff. 

“This is a new disease, everyday we get new information, just like how to take samples or how to treat it. It’s a medical problem, everyday things change, the treatment and diagnosis so we should be updated everyday and I recommend that every week our staff will listen to the lecture just like the one I gave,” he added.

There are five factors that are considered vital to cut off the epidemic’s transmission route, according to Dr An. These are early travel advisories; early diagnosis through tests; early reporting; early quarantine; and early treatment.

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