Samoa Covid: Inmates at Vaiaata Prison Test Positive while those at Tanumalala Recover Well

Aerial shot of Vaiaata Prison in Savaii. Photo: Government of Samoa.

28 April 2022, Apia Samoa. The pandemic has reached the Vaiaata Prison in Savaii, with 20 prisoners testing positive as of today. 

In response to questions from Samoa Global News, Deputy Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo said the same protocols which had been applied to the covid outbreak at Tanumalala, is being implemented for Vaiaata in Savaii.

“The Ministry is well prepared for cases that have emerged and trained staff are following the MOH covid advice to rest, have plenty of fluids and take panadols for fever and soreness.. we had also trained up a special team of prison guards to conduct regular covid testing and provide initial healthcare”.

File photo. Deputy Police Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo. 📷 Loreta Kelemete, SGN.

The Deputy Commissioner and Spokesperson for the Ministry said the situation is being closely monitored, and evaluated on a case-by-case basis, to ensure inmates are well cared for.

A testament of the effective response by Samoa Police, Prisons and Corrections Services (SPPCS), is the recovery of inmates at Tanumalala prison.

“Currently there are just 18 inmates at the Tanumalala Prison considered active with Covid-19, while the rest have recovered,” said Auapaau. 

The number of positive cases at Tanumalala had reached 70 when it peaked, and according to Auapaau, inmates have all recovered well and are now back in the general population after returning multiple negative tests. 

The Olomanu Detention Centre for youth has remained covid-free. “No inmates were affected at Olomanu,” confirmed Auapaau. “We did have prison guards test positive from there, but the response to protocols was quick and so far, covid has not reached the prison population of Olomanu”.

“The welfare of all prisoners is a top priority to the Ministry and we are happy to report that we have had no serious incidents amongst prisoners with the community outbreak.”