24 Mar 2020

Samoa waits for seven COVID-19 tests

5:57 pm on 24 March 2020

A total of seven suspected Covid-19 cases are under investigation and awaiting test results in Samoa.

The patients' samples have been sent to a laboratory in New Zealand for testing.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi tabling the Infants Amendment Bill 2019, which he is dubbing as the Law of Love.

Samoa PM, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi Photo: Samoa Govt

The government says the identity of the cases is confidential, despite the first suspected case - since proven negative - being identified in local media.

The ministry of health has urged people to respect the privacy and confidentiality of patients and to avoid stigmatising people who might be affected by Covid-19.

The initial case, an Auckland-based Samoan who had travelled for a birthday, had been threatened and abused online along with her family, after media reported her name and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi mentioned her village.

Six suspected cases have tested negative so far.