Samoa’s First Suspected Case Returns Negative and Speaks Out

"There’ve been so many suspected cases of coronavirus across the world - not one identity has been published".

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A young woman and her mother who have been isolated at Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital since Tuesday night are tonight relieved to receive a negative test result for COVID-19.

Speaking to Samoa Global News from the hospital the young woman’s mother said the doctors had just informed them at 9.30pm that the results had come back negative.

“Lea ua sau le fomai fai mai e negative”.

The young woman who was in Samoa to celebrate her 21st birthday has had a tough couple of days after the local daily newspaper revealed her name in an article headlined, “Woman suspected of coronavirus identified”.

Tonight she posts a message to her family & friends, who had been anticipating the results together with the rest of Samoa.

“Thank you for your support over the last few hours while we anxiously waited for the test results to return”.

“A few days ago I presented to the hospital with symptoms of fever and sore throat. With Covid19 rapidly spreading across the globe & being close to home, the health professionals here in Samoa decided a Covid19 test was appropriate”.

“I respect and appreciate the vigilance the heath workers have exercised to ensure Samoa is kept Covid19 free. The results from that swab have returned Negative. Covid19 free! Vi’ia Le Ali’i”.

The young woman’s then shares her concerns with her name being published by the news group, saying that nowhere else in the world, have suspected cases names been published by media.

“While waiting for results, I was shocked to find my name published in an article by Samoa Observer. Actually, I was mortified“.

“There’ve been so many suspected cases of coronavirus across the world – not one identity has been published”.

She adds that awareness is important, but “confirming my identity didn’t put me or our country at any ease”.

“My family took on the liberty of contacting those we made close contact with and those we thought were at risk had the results come back positive”.

“However publishing my identity made me and my family vulnerable to the attacks we have faced from online users”.

“Please note that dehumanising those unwell will lead to them not wanting to seek medical attention”.

The young woman’s village had called a council meeting in anticipation of action after live  broadcast of the Prime Minister named the village and anticipated the worst case scenario had the result been positive.

The young woman’s mother told Samoa Global News that her daughter’s fever subsided within 24 hours as did her sore throat after three takes of augmentin antibiotics.


Sina Retzlaff