More Frontline Police Officers Test Positive for COVID-19, Tanumalala Prison Covid-Free

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Friday 25 March 2022, Apia Samoa. More frontline police officers have tested positive for Covid-19, with the number now at 28, up from only four reported earlier in the week.  Deputy Police Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo confirms the number has increased since Monday’s update. “The officers affected have included those in close contact with members of the public, either on duty at Faleolo International Airport, or managing police road blocks,” said Auapaau.

Close to 900 police officers are currently patrolling Samoa during covid-19 lockdown. Photo: SPPCS.

The Deputy Police Commissioner had said on Monday that one of the four police officers who had tested positive was a member of the SPPCS team at Tanumalala prison. However, today, the Deputy Police Commissioner says Tanumalala prison is covid-free, with all inmates fully vaccinated.

Auapaau said Tanumalala is essentially a bubble, with no visitors allowed in, and no-one allowed out, including the prison guards and staff, who are now camped there.

File photo: Tanumalala Prison opening, 28 June 2019.  PC: Taiealua Tuasivi for Samoa Global News.

There are over 300 inmates including those in custody at  the Tanumalala Prison and Corrections Centre, said Auapaau.

“As of today, they are all safe with no known cases of covid-19. We have stopped all visitors, and our Corrections Officers have made the ultimate sacrifice of camping there until the lockdown is over and we can be sure all inmates and those in custody, are safe.”

Auapaau said there are close to 900 police officers patrolling Samoa under Alert Level 3 lockdown status, and all of them are camped at various police outposts across Samoa.

The Deputy Police Commissioner called on the public’s cooperation during the lockdown. “The NEOC are issuing regular updates of SOE orders, and we ask the public to please be aware of what is being handed down, to avoid confusion and misunderstandings when Officers do their job to enforce those orders”.

See SOE Order No 72 here.