Seventeen people in managed quarantine, Govt. explains response

A total of 17 people are in managed quarantine after working with the now-infected container ship that passed through Apia this weekend, the Government has confirmed.

Four are Government staff from the Ministry of Health and the Samoa Port Authority and 13 are stevedoring crew members who helped dock the Fesco Askold and unload the containers.

The National Emergency Operations Centre fronted up to media on Wednesday morning, in an hour long press conference about the infected container ship that passed through Apia on the weekend.

The Interim Chairperson Agafili Shem Leo, Director-General of Health Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, and Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Ports Authority So’oalo Kuresa So’oalo gave statements and took questions from the media.

Leausa said the 17 crew members aboard the ship had cleared the national requirements for entry, including a negative COVID-19 test results from their previous port Tahiti, and cleared the on-board health check conducted by local officials.

Because of this, none of the crew were tested in Apia but the five person crew that went on-board were in full personal protective equipment, the Director-General said.

The Government is considering this a very low risk event and is not conducting further contact tracing or asking contacts of the 17 staff in quarantine to isolate.

Leausa said the containers were all disinfected and he is confident there is no risk of surface transmission of the virus, which microbiologist Dr. Siouxsie Wiles told the Samoa Observer is very rare.

So’oalo detailed exactly how many containers were offloaded.

Agafili explained why the official national response came nearly a day after authorities were first told by American Samoa that three crew had tested positive for coronavirus in their waters.

This is a developing story. More to come

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