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Malifa resident raises quarantine site alarm

An elderly Malifa resident has expressed concerns about the Government’s approval for a hotel near them to be used as a quarantine site.

Kalapu Mauinatu, 66, told the Samoa Observer that recent reports about Samoa’s first positive COVID19 test, has made him rethink the issue and decided to speak up publically.

While he emphasized that he does not have anything against the Tivoli Apartment Hotel, and that he is glad they are being utilized so they can have some business, he believes the Government should consider the safety of people living around quarantine sites.

 “We’ve been worried since the day we were informed that there will be people quarantined here because obviously, we live just beside it,” he said.

 “It’s like we’re also in quarantine as we are scared to step out of the house especially after hearing that some stupid heads just love to escape quarantine putting everyone’s lives at risk.”

In mid July 2020, reports about a man who escaped from a quarantine site, requiring the Police to find him, worried Mr. Mauinatu. The incident did not take place at Tivoli.

Still, the elderly resident said anything could happen.

“The biggest worry for me is my young children because the moment I don’t keep an eye on them, they will disappear from my sight,” he said.

“The worry is that they might run towards the gates because I tell you, before people were quarantined here, these kids treated that hotel like a playground.

“They wouldn’t go inside but they love going near it.”

Mr. Mauinatu wondered about the possibility of the virus, should there be a case, being carried across to their property by the wind.

It is in the Government’s directive for Covid-19 that all quarantine sites are restricted to the public, at all times.

Only authorized personnel pre-approved by the Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) and the National Emergency Operation Centre (N.E.O.C.) are permitted to enter the sites to conduct required services.

Any person who contravenes any of the restrictions has committed an offense and is liable for a penalty under the Orders of the State of Emergency or the provisions of the Disaster and Emergency Management Act 2007.   

According to Mauinatu, the Government also consider residents like himself and their families. He said it would be good to have them provided with hand sanitisers and facemasks.

 “It would be nice to have those hand sanitisers and facemasks especially for residents like us who are just beside the sites and can’t do anything about it,” he said.

Contacted for a comment, the Hotel’s Reception Manager, Carol Tivoli, said there was nothing for residents living near the hotel to be concerned about.

She said only two employees remain at the hotel to serve food to the passengers while the rest of the employees have been transferred to their Spa branch.

The two hotel employees were trained properly on the techniques to serve the passengers while wearing Personal Protective Equimenyt, Ms. Tivoli said.

It was not possible to get a comment from N.E.O.C. at press time.

 

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