10 Mar 2020

Coronavirus: American Samoa needs more beds, quarantine spaces

2:39 pm on 10 March 2020

American Samoa needs more beds and quarantine spaces if it is to screen for the Covid-19 coronavirus effectively, says the territory's director of health.

 A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Photo: AFP

Motusa Tuileama Nua's comments come after a revised travel advisory was released.

US passport holders and residents travelling from US states with Covid-19 cases will not have to spend 14 days in Hawai'i or obtain health clearance before arriving as initially planned.

Motusa said the government cost to enforce the rule would run into the millions.

Instead, the screening of passengers at Pago Pago's airport would be beefed up.

Motusa said that placed the burden back on the local department of health so they were working on getting the Veterans' Affairs (VA) building ready.

"We only have 16 beds up in Leone. The VA building is not yet ready.

"They are working on the showers which most likely will be done by Friday or Monday. That will give us up to 40 more so we are looking for up to 50 to 60 spaces after that is done."

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