Samoa Records No New Positive Cases of Covid from those Isolated

File Image: John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Saturday 5 February 2022 Apia Samoa. Latest testing has confirmed there are no new positive cases amongst the 73 passengers and 228 frontline workers Samoa has had in quarantine since Qantas flight QF155 arrived from Brisbane two and a half weeks ago on Wednesday 19 January.

This is confirmed through a press statement issued on Saturday afternoon. Of the 301 people Samoa currently has in quarantine, 31 had earlier returned positive tests – 25 passengers and 6 nurses, taking the total current count for Samoa to 31.

There were 2 previous isolated cases in Samoa, also from repatriation flights, taking the total count to 33 since the global pandemic broke out over two years ago.

Samoa has yet to record a community case in the two years of the coronavirus pandemic.  “There remains no evidence of community transmission,” states the latest press release.

The timely arrival of an Australian Defence Force flight with 10,000 doses of the Australian-manufactured AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday night 01st February, allowed the continuation of the vaccination roll out. The supply arrived into Faleolo Airport just as Samoa’s Ministry of Health announced it had run out of supplies on that same day.

According to the Ministry of Health’s latest reports, 87.2% (106,774) of Samoa’s eligible population are double vaxxed while 96.5% (117,681) have had their first doses. The numbers still reflect over 10k people have yet to come in for their second shots.

Pfizer doses were administered through high schools to children between 12 and 17 in December last year before the school break. Of that roll out 19,782 students are reported to be fully vaccinated, while 25,851 have had their first dose only. The Ministry has since announced that program as being currently on hold, however, over 6k first-does students would be needing their second dose to be fully vaxxed.

According to this afternoon’s press release, arrangements are being finalised for the delivery of the paediatric Pfizer vaccine for children 5 to 11 years, with implementation planned for the first quarter of this year.

“Likewise arrangements for the implementation of our booster policy are progressing well and a start date for the public will be announced in due course. We re-iterate our gratitude to all our partners who have helped in ensuring we have access to safe and effective vaccines”.

According to the release, “Many safe and effective vaccines that prevent people from getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19 are available. The government has ensured that these are available in sufficient quantities to cover the whole population”.

“The impacts of COVID 19 on all facets of our lives have been far reaching. Apart from the focus on the health of our population, there is a need to pay attention to the impacts on the economy and welfare of our people. The announcements this week of stimulus packages for small businesses and support for upgrading ‘housing’ including sanitation facilities for the most vulnerable groups are important strategies to further strengthen our COVID response”.