All 173 Frontline Workers Have Tested Negative for COVID-19

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(L-R) National Emergency Operation Centre’s Chairman Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo with Director General of Health, leading the front line staff at the Faleolo International Airport to process 274 passengers arriving on the 13th November 2020.

The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) have confirmed in a press release that COVID-19 test results for all 173 frontline workers in Samoa who serviced the flight of Friday 13th November from New Zealand, have returned negative. 

“The negative results are a testament of the effective donning (putting on) and doffing (removing) of PPE and health protective gears that frontline workers are mandated to wear;

“It is also a reassurance of the efficient regular health and safety drills conducted as part their preparations,” reads the statement.

The Chairman of the Disaster Advisory Committee, Agafili Shem Leo expressed thanks and praise to the Lord.

‘We praise the Name of Jesus Christ for these wonderful results, for He has been our impenetrable shield and stronghold throughout our seemingly endless battle again this virus’.

Samoa’s DH of Health directing Health Airport Operations during flight arrivals.

The combine frontline team of 173 personnel included government border and transport services as follows;

  • Ministry of Health –  52
  • Samoa Airport Authority – 30
  • Samoa Airways (Ground Handling) – 25
  • National Emergency Operation Centre (drivers) – 20
  • Ministry of Police and Prisons – 17
  • Immigration, (M.P.M.C.) – 12
  • Aircraft Cleaners – 7
  • Quarantine Division, (MAF) – 6
  • Customs Division, (MCR) – 4

TOTAL  173-All tested negative

Health staff processing passengers upon arrival on the 13th November 2020 to ensure full compliance with Travel Advisory to protect Samoa from COVID19.

“These are the sons and daughters of Samoa who have wholeheartedly dedicated their lives to serve our country with courage, and meticulousness at our borders, in the midst of our war against this invisible enemy…

“They are at risk every time they are called upon to process the flights since the declaration of the State of Emergency for COVID 19 in March this year”; says Agafili.

Chairman of the Disaster Advisory Committee, Agafilii Shem Leo

“It is almost 10 months ago since this campaign began, and 15 repatriation flights have arrived in Samoa. They work so hard for the country. God bless them”, he adds.

Immigration officers from the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet on hand to clear passengers arriving on the November 13th repatriation flight.

The November 13th flight brought home 274 passengers from New Zealand and other parts of the world, amongst whom two have been confirmed as positive COVID-19 historical cases.

To date these two passengers have been managed closely at the isolation centre at Motootua with no symptoms of the virus. The 274 passengers are in their third week of quarantine and will all be tested again before the end of the week.

Samoa was one of the first countries in the world to close its regulated ports of entry in the wake of the COVID 19.

“Border Security is one of the pillars of our national preventative measures against COVID 19, and Samoa had made some of the toughest decisions which led to refused entry of a few of our nationals returning home, for non-compliance with health travel advisories”.

“The success of border operation relies heavily on the frontline team doing their mandatory responsibilities, and returning passengers to adhere to all travel requirements sanctioned by government”.

Summaries from the latest National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) Situation Report on all actions taken since March this year are provided hereunder.

COVID 19 PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE STATUS

Proclamation of a State of Emergency:

  • Proclamation of a State of Emergency for COVID 19 was issued on 20 March 2020 and Effective 21 March 2020 (period: 21 March to 4th April)
    • NEOC activated on 20 March 2020 for response coordination with advise from the Ministry of Health
    • Extension issued on 03 April 2020 and Effective 12am of the morning of 5th April 2020 until 12 midnight of 02 May 2020 (period of 4 weeks)
    • Extension issued 01 May 2020 and Effective 04 May 2020 to 30 May 2020 (period of 4 weeks).
    • Amended Extension order issued thereafter amending the dates of the extension to: 03 May to 2 June 2020 (period of 4 weeks)
    • Extension issued 30 May 2020 and Effective 03 June 2020 (for a period of 4 weeks) to 02 July 2020.
    • Extension issued 02 July 2020 and Effective 03 July 2020 (for a period of 4 weeks) to 02 August 2020
    • Extension issued 27 July 2020 and effective 03 August to 30 August 2020
    • Extension issued 28 August 2020 and effective on the 31 August to 27 September 2020
    • Extension issued 24 September 2020 and effective on the 28 September to 26 October 2020
    • Extension issued 28 October 2020 and effective on the 27 October to 22 November 2020
    • Extension issued 18 November and effective on the 23 November to 20 December 2020

Alert Levels:

Samoa COVID 19 National Alert Levels activated on 27 November 2020.

Repatriation Flights:

  • 3,216 repatriated and quarantined passengers following enforcement of SOE

Test Kits:

  • As of 27/11/2020, there were 5,845 PCR GeneXpert cartridges for COVID-19 testing in stock for processing within country.
  • Stock is consistently replenished by the WHO.

SOE restriction fines

  • Total number of tickets issued re SOE order breach – 185 (22 March – Oct)
  • Total number of warnings issued – 405 (21 march – 31 Oct)

Sea Port Update, As at 26 Nov 2020:

    • 366 vessels entered Samoan borders between the months of March to November, 2020 upon satisfaction of health requirements.
      • 103 container vessels
      • 61 general cargo vessels
      • 8 gas carrier vessels
      • 6 research/naval/patrol/training vessels
      • 9 tanker vessels
      • 174 fishing vessels
      • 1 ferry
      • 3 yachts
      • 1 cable vessel

Quarantine Sites:

  • Eight quarantine sites were activated for the first set of incoming passengers within SOE period.
  • 13 hotel quarantine sites and 11 home quarantine sites were identified and activated to cater for incoming passengers on the repatriation flight from NZ and Am. Samoa on 29 May 2020.
  • 13 hotel quarantine sites and 11 home quarantine sites were identified and activated to cater for incoming passengers on the repatriation flight from NZ on 12 June 2020.
  • 16 hotel quarantine sites and 7 home quarantine sites were identified and activated to cater for incoming passengers on the repatriation flight from NZ on 27 June 2020.
  • 14 hotel quarantine sites and 1 home quarantine site was identified and activated to cater for incoming passengers on the repatriation flight from NZ on 10 July 2020.
  • 17 Hotel quarantine sites & 6 home locations were identified and activated to cater for passengers from repatriation flight on the 24 July 2020.
  • 19 Hotel quarantine sites & 4 home locations were identified and activated to cater for incoming passengers on the repatriation flight from NZ on 07 Aug 2020.
  • 4 Hotel quarantine sites & 4 home locations were identified and activated to cater for incoming passengers on the repatriation flight from Fiji on 08 Aug 2020.
  • 14 Hotel/Accommodation & 15 home locations were identified and activated to cater for incoming passengers on the repatriation flight from NZ on 18 September 2020.
  • 2 Hotel locations were identified and activated to cater for incoming passengers on the repatriation flight from Fiji on 01 Oct 2020.
  • 27 Hotel and hospital location and 6 home locations were identified and activated to cater for incoming passengers on the repatriation flight from NZ on 02 Oct 2020.
  • 26 Hotel locations and 21 home locations were identified and activated to cater for incoming passengers on the repatriation flight from NZ on 30 Oct 2020.
  • 21 Hotel locations and 13 home locations were identified and activated to cater incoming passenger on the repatriation flight from NZ on 13 Nov 2020 as well as the port and health officials for the Fesko Askold vessel cargo clearance.