11 Nov 2020

American Samoa conducting review after Covid cases on ship

4:49 pm on 11 November 2020

The American Samoa government says its reviewing port protocols following the arrival of a ship with Covid-19 infected crew members on board.

Fesco Askold

Fesco Askold Photo: Etienne Verberckmoes

The Fesco Askold arrived this week and three personnel tested positive for the coronavirus.

Nine Department of Health staff are in quarantine after they boarded the vessel.

Two Port Administration pilots who guided the container vessel into port Sunday afternoon are also isolated.

Government Epidemiologist, Dr Aifili John Tufa, said alhough the Covid threat level remained the same, a review and assessement of the situation is needed.

"Obviously we have to readjust our personnel and things like that. One of the things, we have a lot of people that were quarantined from this one activity. We need to relook at our protocols so we can really minimise those that are exposed. We are looking into this and we are gonna fix this real quick."

Epidemiologist Aifili Dr John Tufa

Epidemiologist Aifili Dr John Tufa Photo: RNZ Pacific / Monica Miller

Aifili said he was confident there had been no spread of the coronavirus from the crew members.

However he conceded that more than the initial 11 people may have to be moved into quarantine.

"With our protocols set in place, everyone that might have come or might have been exposed to the crew members or to the Department of Health personnel doing the testing, all of them have been identified and have now been moved to quarantine."

The ship is now anchored eight kilometres out of port where it is staying until next week.