P.M. Fiame calls for support as Samoa goes into 48-hour lockdown

By Adel Fruean 22 January 2022, 1:23PM

Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa has called for the country’s support as Samoa goes into a nationwide lockdown for 48 hours from 6pm Saturday.

The State of Emergency lockdown will start at 6pm on Saturday and end 6pm Monday 24 January 2022.

 Fiame addressed the nation during a special announcement at her office on Saturday morning following an emergency Cabinet meeting. 

The heads of various Government Ministries as well as Cabinet Ministers were seen walking out of the Prime Minister's Office on Saturday morning.

According to the Prime Minister, Samoa will go into Alert Level 3. 

She confirmed that five more passengers on a charter flight from Brisbane, Australia on Wednesday had tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total number of positive cases in managed isolation to 15.

 “We thank our gracious Lord for bringing us all towards another weekend of our journey into the new year,” she said. 

“Our nation was advised earlier this week of the ten passengers currently in managed isolation who tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival on a flight from Australia on Wednesday, 19 January.

"This morning, five more confirmed COVID-19 cases have been identified bringing the total number of positive cases to 15 and all are in quarantine.

“This is a significant number of cases for Samoa, and despite all of them being in quarantine, Cabinet has decided to exercise and impose measures that will further enhance the security and protection of everyone from the virus particularly a likely community transmission.”

Fiame said Cabinet has also considered and approved – in view of the advice from the National Emergency Operation Centre (N.E.O.C.) – to elevate Samoa’s Alert Level to Level 3 (Red - High Risk).

“As such, I hereby declared that a nationwide lockdown will be enforced for Samoa from 6pm today, Saturday, 22nd January, 2022 until 6pm on Monday, 24th January, 2022. 

“The lockdown will require everyone to remain at their homes except for authorised essential workers who will continue to provide crucial and necessary services to the country.

“Only authorised vehicles will be allowed on the roads during the lockdown period. All other activities such as work, schools, travels, restaurants, bars and churches will be closed.”

In addition, she said Cabinet will continue to monitor all developments during the lockdown and will make necessary amendments depending on the situation at hand.  

“The Police will continue to maintain law and order. The Disaster Advisory Committee and the N.E.O.C. will provide further relevant information for the general public.  

“It is our humble request that we continue to work together as a nation and to trust in God, for He will never leave nor forsake us.

“We implore your support and assistance by staying safe in our homes.”

The Prime Minister said the lockdown will require everyone to remain at home except for authorised essential workers who will continue to provide crucial and necessary services to the country.

Samoa will move to Alert Level 3 (Red) for the next 48 hours from 6pm Saturday to 6pm Monday and will observe the following measures: State of Emergency restrictions; everyone stays home; complete border closure; activation of COVID-19 Zoning depending on location of community case identified; complete lockdown of zone areas; ban all mass gatherings; school closure; closure of all services (public and private) except for essential and emergency services; quarantine of front line and support staff; and no inter-island travel.

The 15 positive cases are currently in isolation at the National Hospital at Moto'otua while the rest of the passengers remain in quarantine facilities. Authorised personnel and vehicles will be mobilised to deliver essential services and to respond to emergencies due the lockdown.


By Adel Fruean 22 January 2022, 1:23PM
Samoa Observer

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