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P.M. clears air on S.O.E. orders enforcement

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi has responded to criticism by political party leaders of the Government’s state of emergency [S.O.E.] orders restricting the number of churchgoers and enforcing social distancing.

Political party leaders La'aulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt [Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi], Asiata Valasi Tafito [Samoa National Democratic Party] and Afualo Dr. Wood Salele [Tautua Samoa] early this week described the enforcement of the S.O.E. orders as “unfair and unnecessary” for churches in Samoa.

They also slammed the Government-declared S.O.E. and described it as being “heavy-handed” and added that the S.O.E. orders were “an excuse to exercise their powers.”

However, Tuilaepa in response, said he had to clear the air on why the churches were singled out with the enforcement of the S.O.E. orders.

Responding to queries from the Samoa Observer Newspaper, the Prime Minister said that "things do not happen without reasons."

"At this stage, Samoa is grateful and thankful to the lord for we are still safe under his loving arms," Tuilaepa told the Samoa Observer.

"These things do not happen without [good] reasons." 

The Prime MInister added that all orders are done with good intentions for the safety and well-being of "Samoa who is founded on God."

He said that it was "spiritual whisper" that prompted them to make these orders as the health and safety of the country is a top priority.

"The major aspects of health that we need to prioritise are: prevention and cure." 

Tuilaepa said it is always cheaper to prevent people from getting infected rather than getting infected and trying to find the cure. 

"For some people, it might be too late to have treatment when they're already dead. Or some die because of the wrong treatment or when they act too late because they resort to traditional healings, when they should be going to the hospital first, just like what happened with the measles. So sometimes it may be too late for them.”

He reiterated that the S.O.E. orders are done solely to ensure the country is well prepared if and when the disease reaches our shores. 

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