Newly arrived family immediately moved to isolation unit
A newly arrived Samoan family whose overseas relative apparently contracted the COVID-19 virus has been immediately removed from standard hotel quarantine and into the country's specialised isolation unit, the nation's health chief has confirmed.
The family in question arrived in Apia on last week's repatriation flight from New Zealand and had been undergoing typical hotel-based quarantine at the Samoa Tradition Resort.
But Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) Director-General, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, told the media on Thursday night that health officials immediately relocated the family upon receiving a letter from health officials in New Zealand containing news their close relative in Auckland had apparently contracted the virus.
"We were told that there was a family gathering in Auckland N.Z. on the 13 of October before the family flew back to Samoa on the 14," said Leausa.
"However, a family member of this particular family who is still in N.Z. who was also at the family gathering has contracted the virus and is showing symptoms.
"They (Health officials in N.Z.) sent us a list of all the names of the family members who are already in Samoa but were in close contact with this person in N.Z., so we made the decision to isolate them which is why we had to take them out from Samoa Tradition Resorts so we can run extra tests and monitor them.
"It's hard because there are other people at the resort where they stayed, so we had to remove them from the resort."
Said Leausa, the tests they conducted on the family members in the isolation unit came out negative on Monday and they will conduct more tests on Friday this week.
When asked about whether he is confident in Samoa's preparations in case Samoa returns a positive reading, Leausa said: "We are now going onto two years without a case.
"I think we are prepared for the worst; we got a tracer app to assist us and we have the majority of our population vaccinated.
"Our clinical team is on standby and our focus is that in case we do have a case, we would treat it immediately at the isolation unit and keep it away from the community.
"The main concern is to make sure that no risk that would get out into the wider community."
Nonetheless, Leausa said they are appreciative with the response and the assistance from the public who are coming in to get vaccinated.
He also reassured the nation that they are doing the best they can to make sure that Samoa would remain COVID-free.
"We are still free from COVID and we hope that our people would help our efforts by doing their part by getting vaccinated. But there is no need to worry about anything as we have not had a positive case."