Health confirms first suspected case of coronavirus in Samoa
NB: This story was written in March. The patient in question tested negative to the virus, as did a number of others who were isolated as a precaution.
The Ministry of Health has confirmed Samoa’s first suspected case of coronavirus.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health reassured that at this stage, it’s a "suspected case only."
“As of this morning, the Ministry of Health is investigating one patient for Coronavirus (COVID-19),” the statement reads.
“The patient was admitted this morning Wednesday 18 March 2020, to the TTM Hospital Motootua after experiencing flu-like symptoms for two days.”
The patient is apparently from Auckland, New Zealand, and flew into the country on Wednesday 11 March 2020 for a family occasion.
“This patient is currently receiving care at the TTM Hospital and is being cared for separately from other patients. The status is currently stable,” the statement reads.
“The patient’s samples have been sent to Australia for COVID-19 testing and results should be available in 10-20 working days (Pending Customs Clearance).
“The Ministry is presently undertaking contact tracing of all possible contacts. The public will be updated immediately as soon as we have further information.”
Anyone who has recently travelled should be closely monitoring their health conditions for cough, fever and shortness of breath.
Recently arrived travellers should isolate at home, in a separate room from family and friends for both sleeping and eating.
“We encourage all persons who have travelled or transited through countries affected by COVID-19 to monitor themselves for the development of fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have any of these symptoms please contact the Ministry of Health COVID-19 call centre for advice.
“Additionally, please self-isolate at home. That is to stay in a separate room from family members and use separate eating and drinking utensils.
“The Ministry of Health is taking full precautions and preventive measures, to control the transmission of COVID-19, including preparing the health system to treat and care for our patients when the first case arrives.
The public also needs to do its part to protect Samoa:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and clean water or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw it into a bin and wash your hands after.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Call a healthcare provider if you feel sick for medical advice.
- Avoid unnecessary travel.
- Avoid mass gatherings and keep a distance of 1 meter from people with flu-like symptoms.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces (i.e. door knobs, counters, phones).
- Avoid UNNECCESSARY visits to hospital, limit family visits to hospital to 1 person, and keep children under age 19 away from hospital.
Please check our website and facebook pages for accurate and updated facts, information and travel advisory. FB: @samoagovt @publichealthsamoa
Coronavirus Call Centre: #21183, #21176, #21173, #22914, #22241, #24402
Ministry of Health Website: www.health.gov.ws