19 Workers Test Negative – Samoa Remains Covid-19 Virus Free

The Director General of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri.

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 16 NOVEMBER 2020: The Director General Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri today confirmed that the 19 local staff who serviced the Fesco Askold container ship 7 November at the Apia port all tested negative to the Covid-19 virus.

Leausa told a press conference today, that the 19 were all in controlled isolation and tests after 5 days all returned negative. They are now in quarantine for 14 days.

The workers were taken into controlled isolation after American Samoa health authorities confirmed that 3 of the 17 crew who passed through Apia the day before, had tested positive to Covid-19.

The local authorities acted quickly and recalled the local staff for testing then isolated after public reactions of fear resulting in one school closing early saying a student had contact with one of the workers who serviced the infected cargo ship.

Leausa reassured today that Samoa remains Covid-19 free.

Fesco Askold Unloads Cargo
Meanwhile in American Samoa, the Fesco Askolt returned to port and unloaded its cargo last Friday afternoon.

The Director of Health, Motusa Tuileama Nua assured the public that all precautions have been taken to prevent any spread of the virus from the infected crew members. The three are isolated in their cabins while the vessel is in port and their temperatures are taken more than once daily and readings are relayed from the ship to DOH.

The Fesco Askold container ship off the coast of Amercian Samoa with 3 crew who tested positive to Covid-19.

The Health Director made it clear that the main consideration was to protect the health and lives of everyone in the territory.

Equipment and crew of the Fesco Askold are off loading containers from the ship and placing them in an area of the dock where they are decontaminated by Island Safety and Sanitation Company.

No one is boarding the vessel while it is docked and no one from the Fesco Askold is allowed off the vessel.

According to the governor’s Executive Assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira, StarKist Samoa has 200 containers for the voyage to the US.

The incoming cargo includes cannery supplies, building material, construction equipment and food.

Meanwhile the 11 employees of the Department of Health and Port Administration that had contact with the infected crew members on its initial visit remained at the quarantine centre in Tafuna and all were reported to be well and showing no symptoms of Covid-19.

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