2 Mar 2020

American Samoa establishes govt taskforce to plan for coronavirus

3:41 pm on 2 March 2020

American Samoa's governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, has appointed a government taskforce to provide a plan for preparation and response to the covid-19 coronavirus.

Lolo Matalasi Moliga at his State of the Territory address.

Lolo Matalasi Moliga. Photo: RNZI / Monica Miller

Lolo revealed the establishment of the taskforce during a Cabinet meeting saying the virus is a serious global threat and the main question for American Samoa is what will happen when there is a confirmed case locally.

The new taskforce, which is chaired by the directors of Education and Port Administration, would also look at the costs involved including whether the territory has sufficient medical personnel.

Lolo said the Department of Health had over a dozen doctors and just over 20 nurses.

He said if more doctors were needed than they should be recruited as part of the taskforce's plan.

The government has already identified an isolation facility at the Leone Health Center and new units are being built behind the Tafuna Community Health Center and the Veterans Affairs Center.

The taskforce has 14-days to provide the plan to the governor.

Meanwhile, three passengers arriving in American Samoa on a Hawaiian Air flight from Honolulu have been quarantined for 14 days.

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