20 Nov 2020

Samoa vigilant after positive Covid result

9:28 am on 20 November 2020

Samoa's Ministry of Health intends to conduct more testing of the sailor who had initially tested positive for coronavirus but then returned a negative result less than 24 hours later.

He was among 26 sailors who traveled via New Zealand last Friday with more than 250 others.

According to a press release from the Samoa Government, they were all tested for coronavirus upon arrival at Faleolo Airport and they were all negative.

All were tested again on Wednesday, 4 days after arrival as per the health repatriation mandate and the sailor was the single test with a positive result.

He was immediately isolated in the Special Ward at the National Hospital together with his roommate from their shared quarantine accommodation.

Although the roommate, also a sailor from Europe was tested negative, health authorizes have isolated the pair together as a precautionary measure.

A laboratory staff wearing Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) places a hand on samples collected for Covid-19 coronavirus testing.

Photo: AFP

Police have also been mobilised to the Hospital for security reasons and to ensure there is no breach or contact between the two sailors with unauthorized personnel.

The sailor was again tested at 6:00am Thursday and his result was negative.

In announcing the test results, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi assured the country that despite today's negative test result relevant government officials remain vigilant with their preventative and anti-COVID-19 pandemic response.

"It's all systems go for the Government's COVID preparedness and response plan.

"All the necessary health measures are enforced to eliminate any possible danger to our country," said Tulaepa.

"The health protocols to ensure the safety of our frontline workers mostly public servants at the Airport Authority Friday are also activated to ensure that they are not in jeopardy in anyway."

He called on the country to remain calm noting that since March the Government has been preparing to deal with incidents of this nature.

"Let us continue to remain calm and not to lose our faith in our never ending divine blessings from our Father in Heaven. I remain firm that our Father will never forsake our country and our people," said the Prime Minister.

In American Samoa Governor Lolo Moliga has ordered the suspension of all flights to and from Samoa as well as tomorrow's sailing of the Samoa Govt ferry, Lady Naomi.