Covid tests for three isolated passengers pending

Three passengers that were isolated at the national Moto’otua hospital after presenting flu-like symptoms will undergo COVID-19 testing before their quarantine term of 14 days is over. 

Chairman of the National Emergency Operation Centre, Ulu Bismarck Crawley, confirmed this week that the passengers who arrived two weeks ago from New Zealand will undergo testing. 

He said the passengers are being monitored by the Ministry of Health.

They suspect that the flu-like symptoms were caused by the changing weather. 

The COVID-19 testing for the three passengers, he said, will be carried out before they leave quarantine this week. 

“They are recovering well as reported by the Ministry of Health,” said Ulu. 

“They got the flu and its suspected it’s from the change in weather in New Zealand being cold and coming to our humid weather. They were tested before departure [from N.Z.]  and will be tested before they leave quarantine after 14 days.” 

The 14 days quarantine period for the three passengers including those that came on the same flight two weeks ago expires on Saturday. 

According to Ulu the three passengers will be the first to trial the 2,000 test kits and equipment from the United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P.) presented late last month.  

He added that the results will come from the Ministry of Health who is also monitoring the patients. 

An email was sent to the Director General of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri for confirmation on the test results. 

He did not respond by press time. 

Last week, Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi said the three passengers being isolated are kept under close observation due to flu like symptoms they presented. 

"Because at the moment, it is the cold season in New Zealand, the month of July is the peak of winter in New Zealand and also for us,” he said.

"And that's the reason why we are keeping a close eye on those people."

A charter flight carrying seasonal workers from New Zealand arrives on Friday afternoon and will also undergo the mandatory 14 days quarantine. 

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