First community transmission prompts nationwide lockdown in Samoa
Updated: Mar 20
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa has placed her country in a five-day lockdown starting Saturday after confirming the nation's first community transmission of Covid-19 on Thursday.
Samoan officials said a 28-year-old woman, who was confirmed Covid-19, took the test as part of the government’s requirement for outbound residents.
Mata’afa declared Samoa under alert level 2, which entails a set of restrictions.
“Under alert level 2, the showing of vaccination cards and wearing of facial masks are mandatory. All schools will be closed, as well as nightclubs, bars, and fitness centers and games. Other services will remain open," she declared.
While the lockdown ends on March 22, Samoa moves to level 3. “Under Alert level 3, all schools will remain closed, including public gatherings, churches, and other services except for essential services, the prime minister said.
The Samoa Observer reported that the Covid-positive woman from the village of Vaitele-Tai has been placed in isolation at the National Hospital's isolation ward at Moto'otua and the Ministry of Health has begun contract tracing.
Citing a government report, the Samoa Obsever said the woman developed symptoms on March 12 and went to the Apia International Christian Church the following day.
On Monday, she went to the Emergency Unit at the Moto'otua Hospital with symptoms of “vomiting and chills.”
She stayed at home on Tuesday but ran errands the next day. She did some hopping, visited the library, went to a travel agency and later went to a church gathering attended by 20 to 30 people.
Throughout the rest of the week, she rode in public transportation and dined with a friend at a restaurant.
“Cabinet will assess the situation before the end of the nationwide lockdown and will advise the country accordingly,” Fiame said.