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Unruly youth targeting quarantine sites: M.O.H. official

Health authorities have urged village councils to take control of unruly youth, who are targeting sites accommodating citizens who have returned from New Zealand and are currently undergoing 14-day mandatory quarantine.

Ministry of Health Assistant Chief Executive Officer [Health Protection and Enforcement], Mae'e Ualesi Falefa Silva, made the appeal during the Health of Nation Programme on Friday. She appealed to parents to look out for their children and for village councils to step in where necessary.

“We’ve noticed that some of the youths are trying to attack the quarantine sites where the passengers are being quarantined,” she said. “And indeed, there have been cases like that which have [already] happened.”

The senior MOH official also singled out the ali’i ma faipule [village council] to oversee the behaviour of their residents, mostly the youth and added the health of the nation is not an individual responsibility but the wider community.

“It is also everyone’s responsibility and obligation to watch out for our quarantine sites which comprises those who are undergoing 14-days of quarantine,” she added.

“Everyone is aware of the reasons why we’re strict on our policies and the reasons why we’re doing these preventative measures.

“If we are to be affected [from Covid-19] because people have been travelling into our country, that is the [main] reason why we’re doing all these things.”

Attempts by the Samoa Observer to get a comment from the National Emergency Operations Centre Chair, Ulu Bismarck Crawley, to throw more light on the statement by the MOH official including alleged attacks targeting the quarantine sites was unsuccessful.

Around 300 passengers who returned to the country over a fortnight ago completed their 14-days quarantine last Friday and were released to their homes after they were declared negative.

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