P.M. calls for calm after first positive coronavirus test

The Government of Samoa has this morning confirmed reports the country has recorded its first positive test for a case of coronavirus.

The Prime Minister confirmed one patient in a quarantine facility had tested positive to the virus, he said in a live address to the nation this morning.

But a second, confirmatory test had come back negative when conducted about 6am on Thursday, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister called for calm amid the news. 

The man who tested positive is a sailor who arrived in Samoa on a repatriation flight from Auckland last Friday. 

He has been removed from a quarantine facility and placed in an isolation ward at Tupua Tamasese Motootua hospital.

The Prime Minister said the country would not take any chances that the man could transmit the virus to others.

Samoa is currently listed as one of fewer than ten nation-states worldwide to have never recorded a positive case of the virus.  

Samoa has acquired a P.C.R. (Polymerase Chain Reaction) machine, increasing its testing capacity significantly as it can now process swab tests on island. Previously it had to send test kits to New Zealand or Australia for processing.

* More to come.

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