Samoa had 'two years of preparations': Leausa

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 22 January 2022, 9:12PM

Samoa’s Director General of Health says the country is able to manage COVID-19 positive cases “with what we have” backed by over two years of preparation.

Responding to questions from the Samoa Observer on Thursday, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri said he is 100 per cent confident in the preparations within the Ministry of Health. 

"We are 100 per cent confident with what we have!," Leausa said. "Listen to the tail end of my sentence: with what we have.

"It has been more than two years now and we have trained our teams and people for a worst-case scenario and it has helped keep Samoa safe all throughout that period. 

"So I confidently say that we are ready with what we have and the training we've had so far."

On Thursday the authorities announced Samoa’s first positive COVID-19 cases in the double digits with 10 passengers on a charter flight from Brisbane, Australia on Wednesday testing positive.

On Friday night Cabinet Minister La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt revealed during a televised program that there were 5 new positive cases with Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa later confirming in her address to the nation on Saturday that Samoa now had 15 positive COVID-19 cases.

All the positive cases are currently in isolation at the National Hospital at Moto’otua.

Nine people who were identified as having close contact with the infected travellers have also been put into isolation. 

And while the public has raised concerns due to the large number of positive cases, Leausa said there was no need to panic and everyone should remain calm.

All the passengers who flew in on Wednesday provided complete documentation as per travel advisory requirements for entry into Samoa before departure, according to Leausa. 

He said the 73 who boarded the flight on Wednesday were the only ones who could travel back to Samoa, from a list of more than 200 people who were hoping to travel. 

The rest did not pass Samoa's travel requirements, consequently only 73 travelling back to Samoa on Wednesday, according to the Director General.

"All the cases who are eligible to be vaccinated were fully vaccinated and had a negative P.C.R. test prior to departure from Australia,” he said.

"Currently all positive cases are asymptomatic and in good health. 

“They are currently in isolation in the isolation ward at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital, Moto'otua. 

"All passengers on this repatriation flight wore masks during the flight and during the airport operation and transportation to the quarantine sites.

“They have also been provided with prevention information to assist them to manage themselves and those in their care while in quarantine.”

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Health
By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 22 January 2022, 9:12PM
Samoa Observer

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