Clean out of Samoa's beleaguered prisons continue

This week the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi announced the prisons would return to the portfoilo of the Ministry of Police after a mass breakout from the multi-million dollar Tanumalala facility.

Now the Samoa Observer newspaper reports Assistant CEO for the Programme Development Service Unit, Maiava Vi'iga Fuimaono, was sacked on Friday in a move Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil has called "part of changes that we're making at the prison".

Central Bank of Sāmoa committed to ensure the stability of the financial system

And the CBS is expecting this to be much larger than the adverse effects of the 2019 measles outbreak on the Samoan economy.

According to the Central Bank of Samoa, the trickle-down adverse effects of the COVID-19 through the cessation of the tourism activities and the adverse impact on the associated support services has substantial implications on the broader economy and the general public.

Coronavirus:Special flight Apia-Sydney scheduled

According to a post by the Australia High Commission in Apia, the aircraft will depart late on Sunday 29 March and arrive early on Monday 30 March 2020.

“To reserve, please email and provide full name, date of birth, passport details, gender and contact phone and email for all passengers, by midnight tonight, 27 March. We will phone you early on Saturday 28 March to confirm your interest.”

No COVID-19 cases in Samoa, active surveillance continues

According to the Ministry of Health, 25 samples were tested for COVID-19 and of that amount, 16 returned negative.

The results for the remaining 9 samples are pending.

The ministry says samples of four samples were sent to New Zealand on 24 March and another five samples are awaiting transport.

These tests were done for people with fever and flu-like symptoms with a recent travel in the past 14 days overseas, reported through active surveillance.

Samoa officially on lock down

The government said people or organisations who don't adhere to new Covid-19 lockdown requirements will face finds.

Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said the last flights from Fiji, New Zealand and American Samoa had arrived and all passengers are now under 14 days quarantine.

The flights from New Zealand and Fiji were mostly scholarship students ordered home by government after the closure of their educational institutions.

Samoa to fine people who don't adhere to Covid-19 restrictions

Lockdown requirements include restricting public gatherings to no more than five people.

Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said individuals would be fined $US45 for their first offence and $US245 for a repeat.

Fines for organisations - including churches - are $US2,080, increasing to $US2,916.

Tuila'epa said people breaching the lockdown requirement would have the offence lodged as a criminal record which would affect overseas travel.

Samoa's prisons commissioner resigns after mass prison breakout

Commissioner Taitosauā Edward Winterstein said inmates ambushed the prison guards and assaulted them, leaving one in a critical condition.

Mr Winterstein told a news conference the five guards were overpowered by 36 inmates.

Earlier, it was reported that 29 had escaped but the news conference was told it was 36.

The guards received a range of injuries, and were treated at the Motootua hospital.

The prisoners then damaged the administration block, switched off communications and the power supply, and fled into the night.

Samoa waits for seven COVID-19 tests

The patients' samples have been sent to a laboratory in New Zealand for testing.

The government says the identity of the cases is confidential, despite the first suspected case - since proven negative - being identified in local media.

The ministry of health has urged people to respect the privacy and confidentiality of patients and to avoid stigmatising people who might be affected by Covid-19.

Mass prison breakout in Samoa

According to the Samoa Police Service, they received a report at 8.44pm (local time) by the Corrections Service of the breakout Monday night.

Members of the public especially those living in Aleisa, Tanumalala, Leulumoega areas close to Tanumalala Prison are being urged to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities around these areas tonight.

All police officers have been recalled for duty as soon as possible.

The breakout is the largest reported at the country’s newest prison facilities.

Tanumalala Prison was opened in June 2019


Covid-19 tests in Samoa come back negative

Samoa's prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi announced last night that the result of samples sent to New Zealand for the female patient came back negative.

The prime minister also announced that six other samples from patients who had been tested were negative.

The results for two remaining patients have yet to be received.

The young woman who was the first suspected case had traveled from Auckland, New Zealand to celebrate her 21st birthday in Samoa. She presented at the national hospital in Samoa with symptoms of Covid-19 on Wednesday.