Still no confirmed date for Chinese test donation to arrive in Samoa

By Sapeer Mayron 20 May 2020, 3:00PM

Medical protective equipment from China landed in Samoa last month but donations of COVID-19 rapid tests have yet to be shipped from the mainland, the Chinese Embassy in Samoa has confirmed.

Last month on an emergency freight flight from New Zealand, 2,600 pieces of personal protection equipment (P.P.E.) arrived in Samoa which had been sent from China to Auckland before border restrictions blocked passage for more.

The Chinese Embassy confirmed the first China Aid shipment included 500 face masks, 500 disposable protective coveralls, 500 medical goggles, 500 surgical gloves and 500 shoe covers.

Also among the shipment were 100 infrared thermometers.

Meanwhile other supplies intended for Samoa are still stuck abroad. Singapore is still home to 200 rapid tests from China for Samoa.

There are 1000 P.C.R. tests ordered by the Government of China, approximately 40,000 facemasks and two ventilators, among other donations, are standing by in Shanghai.

The Samoa Observer understands there is hope the shipment will be flown by the French Polynesian Government to Fiji this week and that Samoa will be able to get it from there.

Another donation waiting in China is 3000 rapid antibody tests from the Chairman of the Board of the Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Wenying He, who also hopes to get them to Samoa via a humanitarian flight. 

The Pacific Island Forum (P.I.F.) has, in conjunction with partners in the region, begun a Pacific Humanitarian Pathway for COVID-19, opening up flight routes to get essential medical supplies and personnel around which would otherwise be stuck.

It has yet to be confirmed whether Samoa is among Pacific Island countries to immediately benefit from the pathway.

Earlier this month the New Zealand and Australian High Commissions, World Health Organisation, Pacific Community, the United Nations and the Pacific Island Health Officers Association supported Samoa to receive 240 test cartridges for the GeneXpert machine.

By Sapeer Mayron 20 May 2020, 3:00PM

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