6:10pm, Monday 24 January 2022, Apia Samoa. Samoa has extended its nation-wide lockdown for a further 72 hours, after five frontline healthcare workers test positive for covid-19.
There are 15 positive cases in isolation, all of them passengers who arrived on a repatriation flight from Brisbane last Wednesday. Initially, 10 tested positive at the airport. When a further 5 cases were confirmed from amongst close contacts of the original 10, Samoa went into a 48-hour lockdown from Saturday 6pm, to Monday 6pm.
The 5 frontliners now confirmed positive, are nurses who had been assigned to monitor and offer care to the 15 passengers at the special isolation wards of Motootua National Hospital.
All five have been in isolation since they have been caring for the positive cases, stated the Prime Minister. At an NEOC press conference on Saturday, the Director General of Health Leausa Dr Take Naseri also confirmed that Healthcare frontliners caring for the positive cases had not gone home to their families since being assigned to the isolation ward.
“All 20 positive cases are asymptomatic,” assured the Prime Minister, “and all are being quarentined at special isolation sites”.
The government assures that there is still no evidence of a community transmission. Further tests for all 281 quarantined people including over 250 who worked the arrival of the flight, will be available Monday night or Tuesday morning, said the Prime Minister.
Between now and Thursday 6pm, there are special measures to allow for replenishing of supplies.
Shops, banks, pharmacies, petrol stations, cashpower outlets and money transfers are to open from 8am to 2pm on Tuesday and Thursday.
The NEOC has divided Samoa into zones for the soft opening between those hours, meaning people should not shop outside their zones and only come into the Apia Urban area for services not offered in their zones.
BSP Bank Samoa have announced their Vaitele and Salelologa branches will be open to service the public, in addition to the main office.
Children under 12 are not permitted in stores.
With the announcement coming just after 6pm, several people were already on the road by then. Several of the public posted on social media that smaller shops who may not have been aware of the extension, opened at 6pm. Some bakeries had also prepped for the 6pm opening on Monday evening.
God Bless Samoa.