Samoa declares state of emergency
A state of emergency to prevent the spread of the coronavirus will be effective from midnight tonight.
The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, announced the measures will be in effect for 14 days.
State of emergency orders include a national prayer week from 22 March to 29, shutting down international travel except for returning Samoan citizens (who will require negative coronavirus tests five days before travelling), and a ban of gatherings of five people or more.
Tuilaepa said public transport, namely buses, would be temporarily stopped and night clubs and cinemas will be closed.
At the market, hours will also be restricted and travel to Savai'i is limited to 3 days a week.
Public servants working in non-essential services will have their working hours reduced.
The state of emergency comprises more than twenty orders including flights to Tonga and Fiji being halted, only one flight to Australia a week being permitted and limited flights to New Zealand.
This is a developing story.