N.Z. coronavirus spikes will affect Samoa: Ulu

Any increase in COVID-19 transmission in New Zealand could result in “stricter” state of emergency conditions in Samoa, the Chairman of the National Emergency Operations Center (N.E.O.C.), Ulu Bismarck Crawley, has warned. 

Ulu spoke to the Samoa Observer on the third and final day of a COVID-19 workshop aimed at strengthening information sharing between Government and the news media.

The workshop was organized by the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (P.A.C.M.A.S.) and coordinated by Samoan journalist Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia.

The N.E.O.C. Chairman was asked if the fluctuating alert levels in New Zealand would have an impact on repatriation flights of Samoa residents who are in New Zealand and are waiting to come home.

 “I can only respond that the situation in New Zealand very much informs our restrictions because these are our neighbours…if we think it is going up to Level 4 and if Cabinet, if we find that to be on the schedule, then we will have to look at it,” Ulu said.

“But it means stricter restrictions. It might change from Level 3 every week to Level 6 every week. But again it…it informs our preparations because this is the only way people are coming in…through New Zealand this is where we are allowing the flights to come in.”

On Wednesday this week, the Minister of Health Faimalo Kika Stowers-Ah Kau told the Observer that the raising of New Zealand’s COVID-19 alert to Level 3 alert would be on the Cabinet's agenda. 

Stowers-Ah Kau opened the workshop with a keynote address.

The Observer was among the media organizations that participated in the three-day workshop that closed on Friday.


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