NEOC Pleads Do Not Send Elderly Alone on Repatriation Flights


The National Emergency Operation Centre is once again pleading to all Samoans overseas to please not bring the elderly on repatriation flights, unaccompanied.

Speaking at a media update debrief this morning, NEOC Chair Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo said the children of the elderly should travel to Samoa with their parents and stay here for the necessary six months before returning.

“It is a very sad situation to see an elderly on a wheelchair, struggling alone and asking for assistance on arrival,” said Agafili.

Agafili said the matter was previously raised by Director General of Health Leausa Dr Take Naseri, however, an elderly woman with high blood pressure had arrived on yesterday’s flight.

“Please, we ask Samoans overseas to try and keep our elderly with you”, pleaded Agafili.

“The Government has already negotiated visa extensions for all Samoan citizens that have been stranded overseas,” added the NEOC Chair who is also the Head of Immigration for Samoa.

“If not, then one of the children should escort our elderly here to Samoa, but please do not leave them to come unescorted,” he said.

“The quarantine period is two weeks, and that’s two weeks of personal care that Dr Leausa and his team at the Ministry of Health have to provide if you do not accompany your parents”.

Of the 164 repartriated citizens on yesterday’s flight, all tested negative and are now in quaranatine.

The Director General of Health added that the elderly woman who arrived yesterday had severe high blood pressure.

Marieta H Ilalio