The prevention measures include wearing a mask in public at all times, using proper hand hygiene, keeping a distance of two-metres apart from other people and staying home if you’re ill.
The Ministry of Health confirmed yesterday that 10 returning Samoans from Australia including an 11-month-old toddler have tested positive for Covid-19.
The positive tests results will be sent to New Zealand on the earliest flight to determine if they had contracted the Delta or the Omicron Covid variant.
The passengers arrived in Samoa on Wednesday afternoon on a direct flight from Brisbane, Australia.
The 73 passengers including the positive cases had met all the health and border security requirements including their full vaccination dictated by the Government of Samoa before granted authorization to return home.
Director General of Health, Leausa Samau Dr. Take Naseri highly suspects that they may have contracted the Omicron variant before leaving Brisbane.
“Omicron is highly transmittable and very contagious compared to the Delta variant. Omicron as we have witnessed from overseas poses a high mobility that will devastate our country if there is a community outbreak,” Leausa added.
And from the impeccable security and surveillance measures not to mention the swift containment and isolation strategies in place for situation such as now, Leausa is a confident health professional.
“We are confident that there is no community transmission (as of today 20th January 2022) in the country,” he reassured.
Among the compulsory requirement in place for all new arrivals is for swab tests at the airport before they are discharged to their selected Isolation Quarters even after testing negative overseas before departing and paramount complying with all of Samoa’s Health and Border Security Mandates.
Isolation in place
The positive cases have been placed under Isolation at the Moto’otua National Hospital. And nine passengers who had close contact with the 10 are have been isolated and quarantined at the Faleolo Health Clinic across from the Airport.
The rest of the passengers are in quarantine and isolated in ten various locations for daily checks and monitoring purposes.
Even Health staff on duty to process the flight are in isolation at the National Hospital Compound until the coast is clear.
“Isolating the health staff is made in the best interest of the families and to eliminate any chances of a community transmission outbreak,” said Leausa. “It’s a huge ask for the staff but it must be done.”
Photo screenshot Government Media Caption: Director General of Health, Leausa Samau Dr. Take Naseri (left) announces the new cases at a press conference yesterday