Repatriation from NZ to Samoa remain on hold

As the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread in New Zealand, Samoa is keeping its borders closed to incoming flights.

Prime Minister of Samoa, Fiame Naomi Maatafa said the government continues to monitor the situation in New Zealand to help make safer decisions.

“We also had an update from our NEOC committee who have advised the continuation of the proclamation of the emergency orders, the current order takes us to the 29th of August so the next period is until the 30th of August towards the 26th of September,” she said.

“Last week we made the decision to defer all repatriation flights from New Zealand given the new outbreak and that we will keep an eye on the situation in New Zealand and make the appropriate decisions with regards incoming flights to Samoa.”

Apart from the protections for the Covid by which the proclamations were commenced last year, the current budget is provided for under the provisions of emergency conditions and it’s one of the main reasons to continue the proclamation for emergencies, Fiame said at a media conference.

Cargo flights between New Zealand and Samoa are the only ones operating.

These flights are able to take people out of Samoa.

160 passengers left Samoa on a returning cargo flight for New Zealand.

Meanwhile, the NEOC committee is still negotiating with New Zealand authorities on a New Zealand one-way quarantine-free programme.

Groups of people involved in this programme comprise of Samoa’s health cases being taken to New Zealand, seasonal workers and some returning students who may have to return to New Zealand.

They are being considered for quarantine free entry into New Zealand.

The government is also continuing with discussions with American Samoa on a two-way travel bubble and also seeking their assistance especially for the health sector.

Currently, the CT Scan in the Motootua national hospital is not working and the nearest CT Scan is in American Samoa.

Hence, the request has gone to the American Samoa government whether Samoa can sendgcases to over to help with the diagnosis of the patients while awaiting the replacement of the CT Scan.

 

Photo supplied 

     

Author: 
Talaia Mika