Ministry of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 24/03/2020

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As of 21/03/2020, Ministry of Health received six (6) test results for COVID-19 testing, all of which were negative.

The 21 year old case from Letogo village was among the cases that tested negative for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Laboratory tests are pending for four other (4) suspected cases.

Additionally, three (3) new cases are under investigation, which we responded to over the weekend and Monday (22/03/2020 and 23/03/2020). Those 3 have been tested and are in isolation (results pending).

Including the pending test results from last week and the 3 new tests from the past two days, the MOH is awaiting the results of 7 patients tested for COVID-19.

The patients’ samples have been sent to a laboratory in New Zealand for COVID-19 testing. The public will be updated immediately as soon as we have further information. The identity of these cases is confidential.

We kindly urge people to respect the privacy and confidentiality of patients and to avoid stigmatizing people who might be affected by COVID-19. Investigations are done in order to detect the presence of COVID-19 in Samoa and to protect their families. The Ministry of Health does not intend for these investigations to be used to harm people. Our objective is to keep the public informed.

If a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified, we recommend the full support of the community in order to stop transmission. All people being investigated for coronavirus should be treated with respect and care by their communities.  Remember, we are all in this together for the health our country.

The Ministry is continuing to follow up all persons who came into contact with these patients for medical examination to determine if they need to be isolated. They will also be interviewed to find out who they have also been in contact with recently. This process is called contact tracing and it helps the Ministry to manage and stop the spread of diseases.

We encourage all persons who have travelled or transited through countries affected by COVID-19 to monitor themselves for the development of fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have any of these symptoms please contact the Ministry of Health COVID-19 call centre or a doctor for advice.

Additionally, please self-isolate at home. That is to stay in a separate room from family members and use separate eating and drinking utensils.

The Ministry of Health is taking full precautions and preventive measures, to control the transmission of COVID-19, including preparing the health system to treat and care for our patients. The public also needs to do its part to protect Samoa:

  1. Wash your hands regularly with soap and clean water or alcohol-based hand rub (Sanitizer).
  2. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw it into a bin and wash your hands after.
  3. Wear a mask only if you are a sick patient in the hospital, or a healthcare professional working directly with a patient.
  4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  5. Call a healthcare provider if you feel sick for medical advice
  6. Avoid unnecessary travel
  7. Avoid mass gatherings and keep a distance of 1 meter from people with flu-like symptoms (SOCIAL DISTANCING).
  8. Clean frequently touched surfaces (i.e. door knobs, counters, phones).
  9. Avoid UNECCESSARY visits to hospital, limit family visits to hospital to 1 person, and keep children under age 19 away from hospital

Please consult our website, facebook pages, and MOH call centre for accurate and updated facts, information and travel advisory.

FB: @samoagovt @publichealthsamoa

MOH Coronavirus Call Centre Moto’otua, contact the numbers below;

Toll Free # – 800 6440

 #21183

 #21176

 #21173

 #22914

 #22241

 #24402

Ministry of Health Website: www.health.gov.ws