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Measles hits prison, access restricted

Three prisoners at the Tanumalala Prison have measles, the Director General of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, has confirmed. 

He said the group at Tanumalala were the first that Health team responded to “when they had three prisoners who had measles”. 

Leausa did not elaborate whether the prisoners have been treated and if they were isolated. 

Several attempts to get a comment from the Acting Commissioner of Samoa’s Prisons and Corrections Services, Levaopolo Rosa Siaosi, were unsuccessful.  A message was left at her office in Tanumalala prison. 

The Minister of Prisons, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, is on duty travel when he was contacted for a comment yesterday. 

There are currently more than 300 prisoners at the prison facility. 

In the Supreme Court this week, lawyer Afamasaga Michael So'onalole told the Court there was restricted access to Tanumalala prison due to the measles outbreak. 

Afamasaga was offering an explanation as to why he was unable to visit his client at the prison to get instructions on the charges against him. 

On Monday, Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke issued an order in Court to restrict members of the public from accessing the Courts. 

Members of the media were asked to leave the Court rooms except for the media, Court officers, lawyers and those who have matters on the list. 

Unlike every Monday where the Court room is packed with members of the public, police officers had to keep them out of the Court. 

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