Passenger tests positive to COVID-19 twice

A 16-year-old boy who has returned to Samoa from California on Friday has returned two positive tests for the coronavirus, the health Ministry says. 

Seven other patients also tested positive for the disease initially but were diagnosed as historical cases or false positives after returning negative results on secondary tests, the Ministry’s Director-General said late on Saturday.  

“Last night, 12th February 2021, a 16 year – old male passenger who arrived with his mother from California, USA on repatriation flight NZ990 tested positive for Covid 19 on arrival and again on repetition,” the statement, signed by Leausa Dr. Take Naseri reads. 

The patient tested positive for the virus upon arrival in Samoa and again while in managed isolation at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole, according to the Ministry. 

The young Samoan national, who had left California on Wednesday and arrived in Samoa on Friday after routing through New Zealand, is not displaying any symptoms and appears to be in good health, the statement said.

“The mother of the 16-year-old tested negative on arrival; has no symptoms and is being closely monitored at the quarantine site,” the statement says. 

“She has been re-tested today 13th February and [today's] results were negative.”

The Director-General said that all infection control measures had been observed by frontline health workers at the airport and at quarantine sites but they will be tested for the virus on Monday.

“Seven other passengers are being closely monitored as tests have revealed that five have tested positive and are historical cases; and two are false positives,” the statement said. 

“Six of these passengers travelled from Australia and one from Sudan. They have all been retested and the results received later today are all negative.”

Fifty passengers from the same flight had travelled to Samoa via New Zealand after originally departing from “high-risk” countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Nigeria and South Africa.

The Ministry says that all have tested negative; routine tests will continue. 

“Tests are conducted on arrival, on day five, on day 14, and on day 21 of quarantine,” the statement said. 

“Passengers are also screened daily for symptoms.”

The Ministry is appealing to members of the public to observe disease prevention guidelines it has published online, including avoiding touching one’s face where possible; wearing a mask; avoiding crowds and maintaining social distancing of at least two metres from other people.   

“If you are ill and call the COVID-119 Hotline for advice, cover your coughs and sneezes, do not touch your face, and clean your hands regularly with soap and clean water or hand sanitizer,” the statement said. 

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