GOVT. PRESS SECRETARIAT, 22nd January 2022, Samoa. Director General of Health Leausa Samau Dr. Take Naseri says the primary goal is to contain the COVID19 virus at the quarantine phase, where Samoa’s 15 confirmed cases are currently isolated.
“They are under 24 hour watch in the Isolation Wing at the Moto’otua National Hospital, while the remaining 4 from the 9 passengers identified as their close contacts, are quarantined at the Faleolo District Health Centre.
“Family members who travelled together with them are also under special attention while isolated at their respective quarters and locations,” said Leausa at a Press Conference Saturday afternoon after the Prime Minister announced a nationwide 48-hour lockdown from 6:00pm Saturday 22nd until 6:00pm Monday 22nd January 2022.
The additional 5 cases tested positive on Friday are from the close contacts. They include the mother of three children who tested positive – and 11-month old toddler, a 3 year old and a 5 year old. The mother tested positive after her second test.
Leausa is not ruling out the possibility of more transmissions of the virus among the 73 passengers.
To eliminate any chances of a community outbreak “internal strict containment during quarantine and isolation of the passengers from the community to maintain the national security of the country is a must,” says the Director General.
The 21 day Quarantine Mandate for returning residents is still in force but Leausa says the confirmed cases will need to return three consecutive negative results during their isolation before their release can be considered.
Leaving no room for errors, close to 260 frontline workers on duty at the airport including health, airport, customs, immigration, quarantine officers have been recalled and placed under isolation for the next 21 days.
“They are not under any circumstance have any contact with their families or the public whatsoever, the Health Director reiterated. “This decision is made for the country and their respective family’s interest,” he added.
All Health staff isolated are only authorized to leave their Camp inside the Moto’otua National Hospital to carry out their duties of follow up checks on the 15 confirmed cases. The rest of the public servants will remain isolated at their quarters.
Leausa also called for hotel management and staff to self-isolate at their place of employment, with regular testing readily available.
“We must contain any transmission of the virus inside quarantine for the country’s sake,” reiterated the Director General of Health.