Wednesday 6 April 2022, Apia Samoa. The arrival of 86,000 Australian-funded Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) into Samoa is welcomed as latest figures of the covid-19 community outbreak stands at over 2,500 registered cases and two deaths.
Samoa will today pull back restrictions to Alert Level 2 after three weeks of a nation-wide lockdown, triggered when the first case was detected three weeks ago. In announcing Samoa’s gradual re-opening, Samoa Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa encouraged all sectors to, “implement their business continuity plans under the new norm, of living with covid-19”.
The Prime Minister said some amendments have been made to SOE orders to help reduce congestion in public places, continue to drive vaccination and testing programmes and to assist in slowing down new infections.
The availability of RATs test kits will no doubt be a huge part of driving down new infections and living with covid-19 in Samoa. Some workplaces including the Government Building, have continuity plans that require staff to undergo a RAT before entering the workplace, especially in the case of staff who had been infected.
Australia High Commissioner to Samoa, HE Emily Luck says Australia is pleased to see the arrival of 86,000 Australian-funded Rapid Antigen Tests into Samoa last week.
“These tests will assist the Government of Samoa to continue important testing for cases in the community. We are pleased that our wide-ranging assistance has been able to adapt to the emerging needs of the Government as it responds to the challenges of COVID-19.”
“As we have done throughout the pandemic, Australia stands ready to support Samoa in its response to COVID-19,” adds Her Excellency Emily Luck.
Last month, just as Samoa’s Ministry of Health had announced supplies of vaccine had temporarily run out an Australian Defence Force flight arrived into Faleolo International Airport with an additional 10,000 doses of the Australian-manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine.
At the time, Prime Minister Fiame had said, “Samoa shares a close partnership with Australia, and we are grateful for these vaccines at this critical time as we feel the impacts of this global pandemic”.
Also this week, over 70,000 Australian-funded doses of Pfizer arrived into Samoa last Wednesday, ensuring the rollout of the nation-wide vaccination program currently underway.