All passengers test negative for COVID-19
More than a hundred passengers who flew into Samoa on 29 May 2020, and required to undergo the mandatory 14 day quarantine, have all tested negative for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
This was confirmed by Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, during 2AP’s programme on Tuesday.
He said 146 who were in quarantine were released to their families last Friday and their results were all negative.
“Which means, this is good news to start off this week,” he added.
As for the second flight that flew into Samoa last Friday with over 100 returning passengers, none of them have shown symptoms of the virus while in quarantine for 14 days, added Tuilaepa.
This is the second repatriation flight to Samoa with about 300 returning passengers flown into Samoa thus far.
And while all incoming passengers are to undergo mandatory quarantine upon their arrival, there are concerns that the travellers might not show symptoms of COVID-19 until after 14 days, when they have already been released to their homes.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Tagaloa Robert Thomsen, told TV1 Samoa programme last week that some passengers needed to exercise caution seven days after coming out of quarantine.
“Though the usual process requires 14 days of quarantine, there is still that small percentage that would need 21 days (to develop symptoms of the virus),” he said on radio. “Even when you’re roaming around because we can't tell what happens and as I said before, there is still a possibility that small percentages of the virus (with these people) will need 21 days to actually develop symptoms and will later on be tested positive.”
According to Government officials, not all 150 passengers who intended to take the repatriation flight back to Samoa were able to board, as some of them displayed symptoms for other diseases unrelated to COVID-19.