27 January 2022, Apia Samoa. The NEOC have confirmed that the 27th positive case for Samoa is the husband of one of the passengers, a woman who tested positive last week. The man travelled to Samoa with his wife on the Brisbane flight and has been in isolation at Faleolo District Health Centre since the arrival of the flight last Wednesday.
The information is being conveyed through press statements, released via social media on the Government of Samoa’s Facebook page. An earlier statement entitled, ‘Breaking News’ had also confirmed that six of the specimens sent to New Zealand for testing, returned positive for omicron, while one specimen tested positive for the delta variant of the coronavirus.
“The first batch of results from samples sent to New Zealand have confirmed 6 of the cases are infected with the Omicron Variant and 1 infected with the Delta Variant”, reads the press release.
It is not clear how many specimens were sent to New Zealand in this first batch.
“The results for the rest of the positive tests sent to New Zealand are forthcoming” states the NEOC press release.
Information from NEOC today also confirms that this is the third round of testing conducted on the 73 passengers and over 200 frontliners currently in isolation, and assures that all other tests were negative. “This follows administration of the third PCR tests, in which all other specimen returned negative”.
PCR means polymerase chain reaction. It’s a test to detect genetic material from a specific organism, such as a virus. The test detects the presence of a virus if you have the virus at the time of the test. The test could also detect fragments of the virus even after you are no longer infected
Ten passengers tested positive at Faleolo Airport when the Qantas chartered flight from Brisbane arrived into Samoa last week, on Wednesday 19th January 2022. At the time, Director General of Health Leausa Dr Take Naseri said all 10 were were immediately isolated at Motootua National Hospital’s special isolation ward, whilst 9 of their close contacts were identified and taken to Faleolo District Health Centre.
An additional 5 passengers were found positive last Friday, taking Samoa into lockdown mode with 15 positive cases. A further 5 positive cases were announced by Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa on Monday 24th January, all of them nurses monitoring the 15 positive cases. This took Samoa’s cases to 20, all of them in isolation, hence, posing no threat of a community tranmission.
On Tuesday evening, a further 6 passengers were announced positive, taking Samoa’s cases to 26.
On Wednesday evening, the Prime Minister extended Samoa’s lockdown by an additional 24 hours, to Friday 28th January. Fiame assured the nation the Government continues to closely monitor the covid situation in Samoa, and the additional 24 hours was to allow the Ministry of Health to finalise another round of testing for all in isolation.
“We will also revisit the alert levels, especially Level 2 and Level 3, and will announce the next steps of actions to be taken in due time,” said the Prime Minister.
Cancelled Press Release with Media
The latest information has been conveyed today over social media.
A message from Press Secretariat Nanai Laveitiga Tuiletufuga requested local media attend a press conference at 4pm. A second message asked local media to attend a 3pm press conference, apologizing that the earlier message was incorrect.
Samoa’s local media assembled at the MPMCs 4th floor conference room at the Government Building in Apia at 3pm today. At 4pm another member of the Press Secretariat office came out to convey that the press conference was cancelled.
The Public are asked to contact the following numbers for more information:
• National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC) on 32759
• COVID-19 Helpline on 800-6440 – Free Calling
• 911 for Emergencies.