Diverting tourists away from Samoa could be motive behind misinformation on the zika virus

Samoan caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and Minister of Health Leao Dr Talalelei Tuitama believe there is a motive behind the spreading of false information regarding the spread of the zika virus in Samoa.

Information coming from the overseas media especially New Zealand claim that the zika virus has gone viral and is an epidemic in Samoa.

“It is suspected that this false information is the work of tourist promoters who wants to divert tourists away from Samoa,” Tuilaepa told the media in Apia .

The Minister of Tourism said Samoa should be concerned about such false information because it will affect the tourism business locally.

Zika virus has been in the Pacific for some time with countries such as Tahiti, Cook Islands, Tonga, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu being affected strongly.

“So it’s not new, but Samoa had only 3 cases suspected in October last year and samples were sent for testing overseas which came back positive,” said Tuilaepa.

 Dr. Talalelei Tuitama said 20 samples have been sent to the World Health Organisation (WHO) office for testing this month, and they’ve all come back negative