29 Jan 2020

Samoa imposes heavy restrictions to protect against coronvirus

From First Up, 5:45 am on 29 January 2020

Samoa's government has imposed heavy restrictions on its border in a bid to stave off the coronavirus, in the wake of last year's measles epidemic. While authorities say the risk of an outbreak is low, little is being left to chance after the measles - which arrived from New Zealand - killed 83 people, mostly children. After an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday, the government imposed rules that compel anyone who's been in - or transitted through - China to "self-quarantine" in a country free from coronavirus for 14 days. All travellers entering Samoa - including from New Zealand - are also required to undergo a medical examination at least three days before. An epidemiologist at Otago University, Michael Baker, told RNZ Pacific's Jamie Tahana that while the measures are extreme, he can understand it.