Samoa has 6 COVID-19 Samples Awaiting Transport

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Source: MOH COVID-19 UPDATE – 4pm Mon 30 March 2020.

The Minsitry of Health has clarified that the specimens for Samoa’s 6 suspected cases of coronavirus since New Zealand and Australia has closed its borders are still in Samoa awaiting testing.

“Number of outstanding tests: 6 (these samples are awaiting transport)”, reads the press release.

In the last media address by Samoa’s Director General of Health, Leausa Dr Take Naseri said the outstanding test specimen were being stored awaiting test kits from overseas donors.

Samoa is still free of the deadly coronavirus which has infected 199 Countries and Territories around the world with a reported 738,233 confirmed cases and a death toll of 35,004 deaths.

The Samoa Ministry of Health also says that there is, “currently, one patient in isolation at TTM Hospital under investigation”.

The Samoa Prime Minister confirmed that the patient under review is a Samoa Airways flight attendant and member of the Malaysian carrier Malindo Air that operates flights for the national airline.

Samoas Ministry of Health has tested 20 people all of them negative and explain that tests are done for people with fever and flu-like symptoms with recent overseas travel in the past 14 days “reported through active surveillance”.

“We are undertaking active surveillance to detect cases of COVID-19 in Samoa early. We will update the public regularly on the number of people meeting the criteria for COVID-19 testing and their test results”.

A special Samoa Airways flight departed for Sydney Australia in the early hours of Monday 30th March, chartered by the government of Japan to take evacuate its citizens.

The Ministry has been asked if the stored specimens awaiting transport were placed on the special Samoa Airways flight to Sydney.

MINISTRY COVID-19 UPDATE 4pm Mon 30th:

As of 4:00pm 30th March, 2020, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Samoa. We continue to provide care for all patients who need it, and are prepared to provide care for those who may become infected with COVID-19.

At the time of this update, 4pm, 30 March 2020, we can report the following:

1.) Number of samples collected for COVID-19 testing: 26
2.) Number of samples sent for testing: 20
3.) Number of samples tested positive: ZERO
4.) Number of samples tested NEGATIVE: 20
5.) Number of outstanding tests: 6 (these samples are awaiting transport)

Currently, one patient is in isolation at TTM Hospital under investigation.

Tests are done for people with fever and flu-like symptoms with a recent travel in the past 14 days overseas, reported through active surveillance. We are undertaking active surveillance to detect cases of COVID-19 in Samoa early. We will update the public regularly on the number of people meeting the criteria for COVID-19 testing and their test results.

We encourage all persons who have travelled or transited through countries affected by COVID-19 to monitor themselves for the development of fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have any of these symptoms please contact the Ministry of Health COVID-19 call centre or a doctor for advice.

Additionally, please self-isolate at home. That is to stay in a separate room from family members and use separate eating and drinking utensils.

The Ministry of Health is taking full precautions and preventive measures, to control the transmission of COVID-19, including preparing the health system to treat and care for our patients. The public also needs to do its part to protect Samoa:

We are all at risk for COVID-19, especially persons 60 years and over with underlying health conditions. Let’s be kind to each other.

1. Wash your hands regularly with soap and clean water or alcohol-based hand rub (Sanitizer).
2. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw it into a bin and wash your hands after.
3. Wear a mask only if you are a sick patient in the hospital, or a healthcare professional working directly with a patient.
4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
5. Call a healthcare provider if you feel sick for medical advice
6. Avoid unnecessary travel
7. Avoid mass gatherings and keep a distance of 1 meter from people with flu-like symptoms (SOCIAL DISTANCING).
8. Clean frequently touched surfaces (i.e. door knobs, counters, phones).
9. Avoid UNNECESSARY visits to hospital, limit family visits to hospital to 1 person, and keep children under age 19 away from hospital
10. Smoking is a risk factor for COVID-19 transmission and complications

Please consult our website, facebook pages, and MOH call centre for accurate and updated facts, information and travel advisory.

FACEBOOK: Government of Samoa | Public Health, Ministry of Health Samoa

WEBSITE: www.samoagovt.ws | www.health.gov.ws

TOLL FREE: 800-6440