New Orders Prohibit Pregnant Women from Workplaces

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A new set of orders issued this evening requires all pregnant mothers to stay home from work.

Based on the medical data that measles is associated with an increased risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity and the baby being born with a measles infection, the Orders state that, “any pregnant mother is prohibited from attending her place of employment (whether public or private sector) except if she was vaccinated before her pregnancy.”

Pregnant mothers who are unsure if they had been vaccinated must also stay away from work.

“..any pregnant mother is prohibited from attending her place of employment (whether public or private sector) if she is in doubt about her status of vaccination before pregnancy”.

The Orders do not address the issue of whether pregnant mothers are still entitled to their wages during the prohibition, or whether the order requires Government to compensate the wages of all pregnant mothers (whether public or private sector).

The new orders now also prohibit all children under 19 from travelling between Upolu and Savaii.

“No child under the age of 19 can travel between Upolu and Savaii, until further notice”.

The Order maintains the prioritised age groups of all under 19 and women between 20 and 35, referring to an extension of vaccinations to be soon open to the rest of the population.

“It is confirmed that older age groups will also be vaccinated, once the prioritised vulnerable target age groups, are completed”.

Samoa Global News noted both vaccination sites at the STA Fale in Apia and Mynas old supermarket at Vaoala to have been empty at 4pm this afternoon, an hour before the closing time of 5pm.

New Orders in Verbatim:

Govt. Issues New Orders of State of Emergency
GOVT. PRESS SECRETARIAT; New orders of State of Emergency as prescribed by the Constitution’s Articles 105/106 are in effect immediately.
The new orders is to further support the Government’s drive to detain the Measle Epidemic in the country and include a number of new compulsory mandates.
The new orders are as follows;

1) VACCINATIONS – The Government of Samoa reinforces the Head of State Order of 15th November 2019, for compulsory national vaccinations, starting first with the prioritized target age groups:

a. All persons aged 6 months to 19 years old; and

b. Non-Pregnant Females aged 20 to 35 years.

2) NATIONAL VACCINATION – It is confirmed that older age groups will also be vaccinated, once the prioritised vulnerable target age groups, are completed.

3) TRAVEL RESTRICTON – No child under the age of 19 can travel between Upolu and Savaii, until further notice.

4) OFFICAL ANNOUNCEMENTS – For all official Government releases and information in relation to the Measles Epidemic, the Government Press Secretariat is the official medium of communication.

5) PREGNANT MOTHERS – Henceforth:

(a) that any pregnant mother is prohibited from attending her place of employment (whether public or private sector) except if she was vaccinated before her pregnancy; or
(b) that any pregnant mother is prohibited from attending her place of employment (whether public or private sector) if she is in doubt about her status of vaccination before pregnancy.

6) INCREASE OF AGE TO 19 YEARS FOR ALL ORDERS:

With reference to the Emergency Order dated 16 November 2019, issue the following revised Orders:

(a) all organized public gatherings must not include the presence of children up to the age of 19; and

(b) that unless a child requires medical attention or assistance, a child up to the age of 19 is prohibited from entering any medical facility.

The orders was signed this afternoon after consultations with Cabinet by Member of the Council of Deputies, State, Le Mamea Lemalu Su’a Tuiletufuga Eatuavao Ropati Mualia acting in the absence of the Head of State.


Sina Retzlaff

Tuiloma Lemalu Sina Retzlaff is a Certified Accountant and Accredited Mediator by profession. She is author of the short story Unborn Child and is a Gender Based Violence Research Fellow.
Sina Retzlaff