Samoan church family in self-isolation in Auckland

Members of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa in Mangere Puaseisei, Auckland are undergoing self-isolation at home after a family tested positive for COVID-19.

Pacific Leadership Forum [PLF] Chairperson, Teleiai Edwin Puni, told the Samoa Observer in a telephone interview that the affected family who are now in isolation are members of the congregation.

“I believe most of the church apart from one of the families are all negative so they are now going through the isolation process where they stay home just in case,” Teleiai said. “Otherwise after two weeks they will be able to move about.”

The family that tested positive for COVID-19 have been in quarantine and were moved to a quarantine facility, according to Teleiai.

The P.L.F. Chairperson said they worked with the ASA Foundation, South Seas Healthcare and Health Star Pacific to set up pop up testing stations for the church community.

“We are very pleased for our Pacific people, we have done it in the first wave of the COVID and that is why there was very minimal positive with Pacific in the first wave.

“The second wave unfortunately was out in the community but as you can see it's very manageable and that's because our faifeaus, our community, and our people are responding.

“Not just to the Government but the Pacific leaders, church leaders, and community leaders are getting behind to make sure that our people get tested and stay at home so that's a great contribution that our people are doing that is also saving lives in New Zealand."

One good that has come out of the collaboration between the PLF and various other organisations is the recognition by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, with Teleiai saying the Ministry now sees the importance of working with churches.

"I believe that this weekend there is now going to be pop up testing stations in one or two Pacific churches,” he said.

“So now they are saying if we want to reach out to our Pacific people faster, having one in the church compound is key.

“That's now an idea that ASA and the Pacific Leadership Forum have been saying and we did it for C.C.C.S and the Ministry of Health is now adopting that idea of pop up in the churches."

Teleiai also commended the effort of ASA Foundation to connect the Samoan communities in New Zealand with agencies such as the South Seas Healthcare and Health Star Pacific and distribute face masks to people for their own protection.

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