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P.M. says lapse shouldn't be an excuse

Prime Minister, Tuliaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, agrees that a young man who was allowed to leave the airport instead of undergoing the 14-day mandatory quarantine should never have been allowed. 

But he said a lapse in monitoring the passengers who arrived from New Zealand last week led to Zachary Schuster not being quarantined with all others who came on the same flight. 

The Prime Minister has, however, assured that the passenger is now being self-isolated at his home.

He emaphasised that such a lapse in monitoring the passengers should not be an excuse to breach any restrictions and ban being imposed by the Government.   

“It was due to those lapses (sasi) in monitoring the passengers that led to him coming out [of quarantine] but he should have been quarantined together with the others,” he said.

“The decision has been made that although he might be cleared from overseas, the family has been contacted to self-isolate him…”

The Samoa Observer reported on Sunday that a passenger on the Air New Zealand flight NZ 254 that arrived on Tuesday last week was allowed to enter self-isolation. 

Passengers arriving in Apia on Tuesday were placed in compulsory quarantine at St. Therese Samoa Retreat and several other hotels near town. 

Chairman of the National Emergency Operation Center (N.E.O.C.), Ulu Bismarck Crawley, blamed "confusion" for Mr. Schuster’s case. 

In terms of the state of emergency that expires on Saturday, Tuilaepa said the decision whether to lift the ban on Saturday will be decided on Friday. 

However, he said there is a possibility that the state of emergency will be extended until the period of quarantined of 14 days for the recently arrived travelers is up. 

Tuilaepa said Samoa can only be free from the virus and any cases once all those in quarantine are cleared. 

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