Sailor Tested 3 Times – Samoa Awaits Further Test Results

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The young sailor considered as Samoa’s first COVID-19 case by the Prime Minister this morning has been tested three times, with a fourth test to be conducted in 24 hours time.

As confirmed by Samoa’s Director General of Health Leausa Dr Take Naseri, “He was tested three times, first at the airport which returned false negative, then again last night, 4 days after arrival along with all of the 274 passengers”.

That second test result from last night’s mass testing of all passengers as per Samoa’s protocols was positive, which triggered all systems in place to treat the incident as Samoa’s first positive COVID-19 case.

Leausa then confirms that the sailor’s last test at 6:00am this morning returned, “false negative again”.

“A false negative is the medical term for negative”, says the Director General of Health.

The fourth test is expected to be released in 24 hours time, or tomorrow morning Friday 20th November 2020.

Leausa confirms that the sailor has been isolated with another sailor, his roomate, since Friday.

“They have had no contact with anyone except for health officials”, said the Director General of Health.

“The second sailor was tested false negative but as a precautionary measure he is placed under isolation…”

“The young men are presently under observation and both will be tested again in 24 hours”.

According to Harvard Health Medical Publishing, a False negative – is a test where it may occur that is says you don’t have the virus when you actually do have the virus. The reported rate of false negatives is as low as 2% and as high as 37%.

Last Friday’s flight brought home 274 Samoans repatriated from New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the United Stated including 27 Samoan sailors who have completed employment contracts while stationed on the Mediterranean Shipping Fleet in various parts of Europe.

Samoa Global News will continue to update the public with information from our NEOC and Ministries in the frontline, leading Samoa’s response to COVID-19.


Sina Retzlaff