Samoa suspends repatriations amid Covid outbreak

Five local nurses, who were tending to Covid positive patients, are the latest to test positive bringing the total number of cases to twenty.

The outbreak started on Wednesday last week after positive cases were confirmed among a group of passengers on a repatriation flight from Brisbane, Australia.

Samoa has 26 confirmed border cases of Covid-19.


Samoa authorities investigate alleged breach of State of Emergency Orders

The report will determine whether there are sufficient grounds to refer the alleged breach of the State of Emergency (SOE) Orders to Police for the appropriate criminal action.

The SOE prohibits any person returning to Samoa for personal reasons and it is compulsory for them to file a formal request in writing with the appropriate local officials for authorization to do, a Government release said.

11 new cases, 26 total Covid-19 cases for Samoa

All of the cases are being managed and controlled in quarantine and currently there is no evidence of a community transmission, a government statement said.

All passengers and frontline workers were swabbed yesterday, which was day five of their quarantine.

The early results returned positive for 5 individuals who are frontline workers monitoring the isolation unit at Moto’otua, and 6 more positive cases confirmed late last night and early this morning were passengers, who arrived on a flight on Wednesday, 19 January.

Samoa passengers under investigation

EOC chairperson Agafili Shem Leo said they had heard rumours some of the passengers had travelled for a funeral and they would dig deeper into the matter.

Agafili said overseas based Samoans were not allowed to make short visits home for funerals, weddings and other family events.

"The only people allowed are returning citizens who have been on work assignment overseas and students on scholarship and patients on the overseas medical treatment scheme," Agafili said.

Samoa lockdown extended as 5 new cases reported

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa announced a 72-hour lockdown which came into effect at 6pm (local time).

The extension will now end at 6pm on Thursday.

Fiame made the announcement this afternoon.

The public will be able to replenish their supplies, shops, money transfer services as well as markets on Tuesday and Thursday during the allocated hours of 8am to 2pm.

Some of the new cases were reported amongst frontline workers who were supervising ten repatriates who tested positive for Covid-19 last week.

Samoa pulls out of Rugby World Cup qualifying due to COVID-19 issues

Lakapi Samoa will no longer send a team to the Final Qualification Tournament, which is due to take place in Dubai next month.

The fact anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 outside of Samoa cannot return for six months and worries over players based in New Zealand not being assured of quarantine places after the tournament were both cited as reasons for Samoa's withdrawal.

The Hong Kong Rugby Union has pulled out of the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship, which offered qualification through to the last-chance qualifier, again citing coronavrius concerns.

Samoa announces new public hospital’s requirements

Fully vaccinated people are the only ones that are given the green light to use the outpatient facility at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital.

MOH released a statement stating: "The general public is also reminded that as part of our ongoing national campaign against COVID19, we will be enforcing strict entry only to those outpatient cases who have completed both doses of their vaccination (Pfizer or AstraZeneca).”

"It is also compulsory to wear a mask when entering the hospital at all times.”

Samoa announces lockdown from 6pm tonight until 6pm on Monday

The prime minister has just confirmed this at an emotional press announcement from her office.

The 48 hour lockdown was recommended by the National Emergency Operations Committee (NEOC) and lifts the emergency alert level to 3 or high risk.

Only essential services will be allowed but all offices and shops including all public transport will be closed including all churches.

"No vehicles will be allowed on the roads during his time and Police will be monitoring."

Samoa considering a lockdown

Chairman of the ruling FAST Party and Minister of Agriculture, La'auli Leuatea Schmidt, revealed the increase in positive cases on television last night.

He gave no details on the five new passengers that have tested positive but said instead that he expected the National Emergency Operations Committee to make an announcement soon.

The Samoa Observer has said it understands Cabinet will hold an urgent meeting todayon Saturday to discuss a possible lockdown for the country.

50 Tala incentive proposed to boost Covid-19 vaccination

“American Samoa has done this too and we see that there are complications if and when this is practiced but we’ll propose to the Cabinet again. However, since we’ve been carrying out this process from the start without rewarding a $50, would be better to use that $50 Tala somewhere else that’s more important for us,” NEOC Chairman, Agafili Shem Leo said during a press conference on Tuesday.

86 percent of the eligible population have received their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

96 percent have received their first dose.