A flight from Australia that arrived into Samoa last Friday brought 42 passengers, while two were denied permission to board.
Samoa’s Health Director Leausa Dr Take Naseri confirmed the repatriation flight did arrive into Samoa and the 42 passengers on board are now in quarantine.
Samoa’s NEOC Chairman Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo gave his reassurace that the 42 passengers from Australia have all been tested, and their results have all returned negative.
Agafili said the border controls on Samoa continue to be closely monitored.. “Because if someone came without symptoms and later developed them, then the country would be exposed to the virus,” Agafili said.
Samoa not only requires negative tests to be done no lore than three days before the flight, but testing is done at the border and again while passengers are still in quarantine.
Samoa has some of the most stringest pre-departure requirements in the world, where passengers are required to submit negative Covid-19 blood tests not swab tests, a separate doctors clearance form, and now certificates to prove they have been fully vaccinated.
Leausa added that the two passengers denied entry were from high risk locations in New South Wales now facing a hike of Covid-19 delta variant cases.
Leausa also confirmed the flight included two Australian technical experts, here to help with a plan to salvage Samoa’s Police Patrol boat Nafanua II.
“They are also under quarantine,” said Leausa.
A repatriation flight from Auckland New Zealand that was supposed to have arrived into Samoa on the 26th of August has been postponed until further notice.
“The Delta variant is affecting most parts of the world and it is easily spread which is why we had to cancel the flight this week from Auckland,” said the Health Director.
Close to 300 passengers were expected to return home to Samoa this week but Samoa’s NEOC made the recommendation to Cabinet to have this flight postponed while New Zealand deals with the Delta variant outbreak.
On Thursday, the coronavirus outbreak grew by 68 cases in New Zealand taking the total number of cases to 277. One previously reported case has been reclassified after being confirmed as a false positive.
Of the cases, 263 are in Auckland, and 14 are in Wellington. Many of the cases are among the Samoan community and linked to a sub-cluster who assembled at the Assembly of God church in Māngere.
The decision to place New Zealand into a level 4 lockdown was made by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after one case in the community emerged last week.