Passenger in isolation after COVID-19 test

One passenger from Friday’s flight is currently in isolation after the passenger’s second COVID-19 test detected signs of the virus, but the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, says there is nothing to worry about.

Tuilaepa assured that, similar to recent previous cases last year which were shown to be "historical" in nature, or capable of testing positive but not contagious due to a past infection. 

The COVID-19 test showed a very low viral count and therefore poses no threat to the country, the Prime Minister said during his weekly programme on Wednesday evening. 

“There are no physical symptoms,” Tuilaepa said.

He did not specify whether the passenger was a sailor or not.

The nineteenth and most recent repatriation flight into the country, operated last week by Air New Zealand carried a total of 257 passengers, 217 of whom were sailors.

The most recent flight brings the total number of repatriated Samoans altogether close to 4000, according to the National Emergency Operation Centre Chairman, Agafili Shem Leo on Monday.

The P.M. also mentioned that food was the reason for a commotion in one of the quarantine sites during the weekend.

Tuilaepa said it seems some of them sailors currently in managed isolation have forgotten the taste of local cuisine.

“Some want the food served to be similar to the food served to [Queen] Elizabeth [II] it seems. Not all of them but just some of them who seem to be acting that way,” he said.

“Now we are trying to bring them back to earth, it seems they are not used to eating the food in our hotels as they’re used to the expensive food they’re used to eating on the boats they were at.”

According to Agafili, the commotion required Police assistance on Saturday.

“Most of these places used as quarantine sites, they have been preparing for a very long time, other passengers had also stayed in some of these sites,” he said.

“The [number] of people who have gone through these sites, and there are things […] like sometimes turning on the air conditioning may not be up to their liking, and the food they might expect it to be big but when it is presented, it’s not.

“Some of these things may not be satisfactory to these passengers and that’s why these frictions may happen, but again, they are now in Samoa. There is nothing better, they are now home.

“We are appealing to the passengers to please be patient.”

He also pointed out that those in quarantine should be thankful that they do not have to pay large sums of money to undergo quarantine, unlike citizens returning home from other overseas countries.

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