28 Jan 2021

Samoan sailor in isolation thought to be 'historical' Covid case

3:34 pm on 28 January 2021

A sailor who arrived on a repatriation flight to Samoa last Friday has been placed in isolation at Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital after a test showed he had signs of the Covid-19 virus.

Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital

Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital Photo: facebook

Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, revealed the move, saying all other passengers from the flight were in quarantine and had tested negative.

He said the isolated man did not pose any threat to the community as there were only very low signs of the coronavirus.

Our correspondent Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, said it appeared he was part of a group of sailors who contracted Covid-19 overseas.

He said in the past Samoa Shipping Services, which organises the repatriation of Samoan sailors, had indicated there were five seamen had caught the coronavirus while working in Europe.

"They were treated and got well but I believe this isolated case is one of those five who got infected overseas. I also understand this is one of those historical cases, like the two others on one of the past repatriation flights."

Last year repatriation operations were suspended after two returning citizens, including a sailor, returned positive tests for Covid-19 however it was subsequently confirmed with follow-up tests that the duo were historical cases who were no longer infectious.

More tests are being done to clarify the isolated man's status.

Repatriated people from last Friday's flight, which numbers over 250 citizens, remain in quarantine for 21 days.

The most recent flight brings the total number of repatriated Samoans close to 4000.

The government said Samoa remained Covid-19-free.