American Samoa cancels Pacific Leaders Group summit
American Samoa's Government has extended by another 30 days its State of Emergency Declaration over the measles and global coronavirus outbreak, causing it to cancel a planned summit of leaders of Pacific states in March.
An order signed by Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga takes effect on February 26 through to March 26, 2020.
Coronavirus has killed more than 2,800 people and infected more than 85,000 worldwide.
France reported 19 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday, taking the total to 57. Italy coronavirus death toll rises to 21, positive cases 888 with one new case out of New Zealand.
Governor Lolo expressed concern due to the lack of a cure or vaccine which, he said, necessitates a flexible response to ensure that the health of the people of American Samoa is protected.
Immigration policies on entry permit waivers, and transit permits into the American territory remain in full force.
“The public is advised that these policies are to be strictly adhered to in every circumstance to ensure the public’s health and safety," he said.
“In order to respect the rights of individuals but also maintain protection against the coronavirus, D.o.H. (Department of Health) is authorised to quarantine and isolate individuals for 14 days without notice,” he said.
Furthermore, all other emergency policies currently in effect will remain so until further notice or expiration of this extended emergency declaration.
Samoa News reported that Governor Lolo has also cancelled the Pacific Leaders Group summit scheduled for April 14-16 in American Samoa.
The cancellation comes after two previous postponements of the conference by the U.S. territory.
The group, which was established in 2011, consists of independent or self-governing countries or territories within the geographical region of Polynesia. Samoa is a founding member.