Prime Minister Announces Lifting of Covid-19 State of Emergency after 2 Long Years

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After a long and challenging two years and four months, Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa has announced Cabinet’s decision to lift the proclamation of State of Emergency over Samoa.

Samoa first declared it was under a Covid-19 State of Emergency in March 2020.

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The Government had been renewing the SOE Orders each month for the past 2 years and the latest one ended Tuesday 26th July.

The Prime Minister of Samoa thanked all citizens, Members of the Clergy, Government departments and its frontliners, as well as the Private Sector and members of the community, for their invaluable support throughout.

The Prime Minister also made special mention and acknowledged Samoa’s various Development Partners for their loyal support during the pandemic.

The Prime Minister’s Statement is published below in verbatim:

Greetings and Talofa lava Samoa.

We have arrived at the end of the COVID 19 State of Emergency number 81 which started from midnight of 27th June, 2022 until today. At alert level 1 we have continued to monitor new cases, encouraged vaccinations for the eligible population, and advised on the importance of adhering to preventative public health measures necessary to cushion the severe impacts of COVID 19.

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Our journey with COVID 19 has been a long two years. Like all countries, Samoa has seen and felt the ravages of the virus across all sectors of the economy. Our norms have changed necessitating the practices of wearing masks, social distancing, and adapting to periodic nationwide lockdowns to minimise the rapid spread of the virus. The closing of international borders has impacted all of us. Millions of lives have been lost across the world, likewise we have experienced the same albeit on a lesser scale.

In the midst of the storms of our journey we continue to find peace and comfort in the grace of God. We have learnt to sail with faith seeking guidance, protection, and healing from Him.

Our national efforts to drive COVID 19 vaccinations, led by the Ministry of Health and well supported by our people, is highly commendable. The most recent figures from the Ministry of Health show that 93.6% of those 18 years old and above have been fully vaccinated, 92.4% for the 12 to 17 years old, and 91.4% for the 5 to 11 years old. These figures reflect the status of our collective cooperation and our readiness to move forward with confidence.

In this regard, Cabinet at its meeting yesterday afternoon approved the removal of the Proclamation of the State of Emergency for Samoa after careful consideration of our current status, and the preparatory measures in place for the reopening of our national borders on 1st August, 2022 as announced earlier.

With the lifting of the SOE, all sectors of Government will return to their normal operations as guided by relevant legislation. International travels will be regulated under the legislative requirements of government border agencies including health, ports, quarantine, customs and immigration. Government will continue to remain vigilant at our borders.

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Let me take this opportunity to thank you Samoa for all your support in our fight against COVID 19. The support government received from villages and communities, greatly helped with our efforts to keep Samoa safe.

We remember all those who lost their battles to COVID 19 and reiterate condolences to all the families and communities concerned.. May the Spirit of our Lord continue to comfort you.

Lau Afioga i le Ao Mamalu o le Malo, I thank you for your support and prayers throughout the SOE period.

I acknowledge Church leaders for their endless prayers and supplications, for our country and our people.

To all public servants, frontline workers, doctors and nurses, the Disaster Advisory Committee – thank you for your sacrifices and commitment to safeguard our country.

I also acknowledge with sincere gratitude and appreciation the assistance of all our development partners and international community. Thank you for all your support and assistance delivered bilaterally, regionally and globally including generous partnerships with Samoa that facilitated an effective and impactful COVID 19 response.

May God bless us all as we approach the reopening of our borders next week.

Soifua

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