Long delays at American Samoa Covid testing and vax site

A federal team is to arrive in American Samoa this week in response to the territory's request for federal assistance to deal with the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the community.

The Health Department reported last night that confirm cases stand at 63.

The federal team, which will number more than 50, will include representatives of FEMA, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, and other federal partners.

The Health Department's Dr Aifili John Tufa said the request for assistance was made right after the first community case was recorded on Monday.

The team will help with vaccinations, treatment of Covid-cases at the Department of Health clinics, training and help supplement medical staff.

Other team members will be set up at the LBJ Hospital to help with patient management, infection control and other functions related to Covid response.

The team is travelling to the territory on a charter flight and will also be bringing Covid test kits, supplies, and vaccinations.

On Saturday, the Department of Health conducted a drive-thru Covid testing and vaccinations at the airport which was packed from start to finish.

RNZ Pacific correspondent said some people had to wait three hours to get tested.