Covid Update: From Zero ICU Cases to One Covid-Related Death

Outside Lalomanu District Hospital. Photo: Government of Samoa.

01 April 2022 Apia Samoa. Samoa has gone from having zero ICU cases to registering the first covid-related death at the Lalomanu District Hospital two days ago on Wednesday 30th March.

Outside Lalomanu District Hospital. Photo: Government of Samoa.

Today’s Covid-19 update issued by the Ministry of Health again confirms that no covid positive patients are being held at the national hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. Previous updates can also confirm no patient has ever required ICU treatment since the nation’s first community outbreak 14 days ago.

Update as of 2pm Thursday 30 March.

Last night, however, Samoa recorded its first covid-related death from a district hospital. The deceased, according to the MOH report issued, was a 67 year old male, who had multiple comorbidities. “He died shortly after he was admitted to the Lalomanu District Hospital” the statement read.

According to a family member of the deceased, when his brother had tried to seek medical help at the Lufilufi district hospital, he was told to go home and not to worry because the covid had passed (aua le popole ua uma le faamai).

Speaking to Samoa Global News last night, 71-year-old Noa Autasia said he was very close with his brother who was 69 – just two years younger than him.

He told SGN that his brother, Makesi Ausage, was originally taken to Lufilufi District Hospital, where he tested positive for covid-19, and then sent home to self-isolate.

According to Noa, his brother’s condition did not improve, so they had taken him back to Lufilufi hospital. He was treated and once again, told to return home.

Noa said his brother’s condition did not improve, so they decided to take him to Lalomanu District Hospital. At Lalomanu, they were told his brother was covid-positive, but medical staff could not revive him.

The Minsitry of Health’s latest report confirms 170 new positive cases have been detected as at 2pm Thursday, 31st March 2022.

“Of the 170 new positive cases, 166 are new confirmed community cases and 4 historical cases in quarantine at the border”.

Samoa’s total number of community cases recorded since 17th March 2022 is now at 1,831 – of which 1,408 are active community cases.

By age, the data shows there are 140 cases in the age group above 60 years.

It has long been made known from global reports of the coronavirus pandemic over the past two years that the elderly are the most vulnerable and at high risk of cases resulting in death.

According to a WHO April 2020 report, “Although all age groups are at risk of contracting COVID-19, older people face significant risk of developing severe illness if they contract the disease due to physiological changes that come with ageing and potential underlying health conditions”.

The Ministry of Health confirmed 20,643 RATs have been administered to date since the first case was detected.