Schools in Samoa Remain Open – MESC Issues Health Alert Advice


Following the confirmation of Samoa’s first positive COVID-19 test result, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC) Afamasaga Dr. Karoline Afamasaga-Fuatai issued a swift notice to confirm that schools would remain open.

Addressed to all heads pre-schools, primary, intermediate and colleges across Samoa, the notice offered a reminder to maintain social distancing between students and maintain high levels of hygiene within schools.

The warning coincides with the announcement this morning by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi confirming that one of 27 sailors repatriated from Europe tested positive last night, although a follow-up test this morning returned negative.

Afamasaga in her notice urged the parents to be on the alert in every possible way, to protect students during these times of uncertainty as the school year comes to a close.

“You will be informed if there are any changes to the end of year programs and school schedule for children”, reads the statement issued in Samoan.

The sailor and 25 of his colleagues returning from Europe were amongst 274 Samoans who arrived Friday 13th November on the 15th Repatriation Flight. All were tested before leaving the airport for their respective 14 Day isolation locations. They all passed the initial tests.

All of the passengers were again tested yesterday 18th November 2020 (4 days after arrival) as per health repatriation protocol. The sailor was the single test with a positive result. 

The young man and his quarantine roommate, also a sailor from Europe, were immediately isolated to the Special Ward at the Motootua National Hospital.

The sailors roommate tested negative, however, health authorities have isolated the pair together as a precautionary measure.

Marieta H Ilalio