Samoa’s Frontliners Released from Quarantine after Two Weeks and Repeat Negative Test Results

File Image. Samoa's MOH frontliners testing passengers of repatriation flights. Faleolo International Airport, 2020. 📷 Gvt Press Secretariat.

8 February 2022, Apia Samoa. One hundred and thirty nine Samoa frontliners have been released after 14 days of isolation, and seven rounds of testing.  A Ministry of Health (MOH) press statement issued 8 February confirms the 139 frontliners were released last week Friday.

“All frontline staff that were released from quarantine were tested 7 times using GeneXpert SARS-CoV-2 ztest for Covid-19 and all test results returned negative,” the MOH statement reads.  According to the statement, 214 frontliners were taken into quarantine on Saturday 22 February including teams from Samoa Airport Authority, Samoa Immigration, Customs, Quarantine, Samoa Airways, Police and NEOC staff. A previous press release had stated there were 228 frontliners in quarantine. 

Of the 139 frontliners released, 80 were quarantined at Sheraton Mulifanua, 50 from St Therese at Leauvaa and 9 had been at Tivoli Aparthotel.

The 75 frontliners remaining in quarantine include MOH staff who continue to monitor and assess passengers at quarantine sites and isolation sites at the Motootua and Faleolo hospitals. Drivers providing transport for the health teams are also in quarantine.

“All infection, prevention and control protocols continue to be strictly followed by the health teams and staff at quarantine sites and isolation units..”

The Ministry of Health have been able to contain the positive cases to 25 passengers in isolation with the only exception being 6 nurses caring for the positive cases who had returned positive tests. All nurses infected had been in isolation.

The MOH press release again reassures the nation, “there is still no evidence of a community transmission”.

Samoa’s double vaxxed adult population is close to 90% with 96% having received first jabs. The New Zealand government have sent 10k Pfizer vaccines for Samoa’s booster shot rollout.

Samoa went into Level 3 lockdown on 22 January for six days after passengers from a Brisbane repatriation flight tested positive for Covid-19. The nation is currently in Alert Level 2.  This Friday 11 February would make it three weeks since Samoa elevated it’s position to Levels 3 and 2.