Relieved citizens released to go home

The 160 passengers, barring a 16-year-old male, who had been in quarantine for three weeks following a February repatriation flight from New Zealand, have been released to go home. 

Several passengers who went through the mandatory 21 days quarantine period confirmed returning negative tests prior to being cleared for release. 

Meanwhile, the 16-year-old male who arrived on the same flight on 12 February remains in isolation at the National Hospital in Moto’otua. 

It could not be confirmed by press time the outcome of his latest result. 

But earlier this week, Director General of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri said the isolated passenger had continued to return a positive Covid-19 test. 

At the time, Leausa said it was only common sense to keep the teenager in isolation if his test remains positive.

He said the passenger was in good health but was weary of being kept in isolation since his arrival.  

“It is best to be cautious and do further testing,” he said. 

While the rest of the passengers from the 12 February repatriation flight have been released to go home, another repatriation flight is scheduled for Friday this week. 

The Interim Chairman of the National Emergency Operation Centre, Agafili Shem Leo had announced earlier this week that the flight will bring the last lot of Samoan sailors stranded overseas. 

He could not confirm the number of passengers on the scheduled flight saying that number can only be certain once the flight takes off. 

The passengers will be quarantined in 32 different sites joining others who arrived on Tuesday. 

According to the Interim Chairman, those who arrived on Tuesday morning include seven Samoans who travelled for medical treatment to Shriners Hospital in Hawaii, stranded citizens in Hawaii and Los Angeles and 30 missionaries of the Seventh Day Adventist church. 

Agafili was also happy to note that Samoa will be the first Pacific Island to have returned their seafarers back home. 

He noted that other countries like Fiji, Tonga, Tuvalu and Kiribati are yet to repatriate their sailors. 

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