22 Apr 2020

American Samoa receives $US35 million in Covid-19 funds

6:37 am on 22 April 2020

American Samoa has received $US35 million from the United States Treasury to prepare the territory for Covid-19.

no caption

Photo: 123rf

Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga said the funding was allocated under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Last week, President Donald Trump declared a disaster in American Samoa despite it being the only US territory without a confirmed coronavirus case.

Lolo said the money would be used to cover costs arising from the public health emergency.

Last week the chair of the territory's Coronavirus Taskforce, Iulogologo Joseph Pereira, alluded to money spent by the local government to build coronavirus deterrent infrastructure.

In March, the Veterans Affairs Centre in Pago was converted into a quarantine facility.

Quarantine area at Veterans Affairs center

Quarantine area at Veterans Affairs center Photo: Monica Miller

After its interior was partitioned into cubicles and showers were installed, it was used to isolate 42 US citizens who flew in from Hawaii on one of the last passenger services to reach American Samoa.

At the end of March all passenger flights were suspended for 30 days.

After announcing the Treasury funding, the governor said he was grateful to the president for making sure the needs of the furthermost insular areas were met.

He also thanked the US Interior Department for articulating American Samoa's needs at the highest level of the federal government.