COVID-19 UPDATE: Air hostess is Samoa’s latest suspected case

Staff Reporters

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A Malaysian Air Hostess working for Samoa Airways is Samoa’s latest suspected Coronavirus case


Staff Reporters


APIA, SAMOA – 30 MARCH 2020: A Malaysian air hostess who was part of the aircrew of Samoa Airways last flight before lock down last Thursday, is being isolated and is the only suspected case as of today.

The update given by the Prime Minister on the state owned Radio 2AP at 400 this afternoon said all the other suspected the cases have been cleared and the airhostess was taken to the hospital last night for high fever.

The airhostess and crew are staying in a hotel in Apia and reports said they were brought into town on a Samoa Airport Authority bus together with the other airport workers.

“We hope it is only high fever,” said Tuilaepa.

He also explained that a young man who came through the health security processes at the airport and went home, has been asked to be isolated at home. Tuilaepa said the young man had medical clearance that he did not have covid-19 before returning to Samoa.

State of Emergency maybe Extended – African Swine Fever looms
According to the Prime Minister, the state of emergency which is to end this Saturday 04 April may need to be extended. He said he is set to meet with the National Council of Churches this coming Friday and will be informed of the decision whether to extend the orders or not. The Council met with the PM last Friday and the orders to ban churches services remained.


The Prime Minister live on government owned media this afternoon with sign language specialist Noue Mavaega in the background

While Covid-19 has upturned normality around the world, Samoa has another health threat close to its shores. That is the African Swine Flu (ASF) which is confirmed to be as close as East Timor in the Pacific and Samoa has already banned the importation of all pork products from China and has banned the sale of such products already in the country.
With Samoa’s the latest Covid-19 suspected cases still in isolation, the state of emergency may be extended to next Wednesday according to Tuilaepa.

“But that decision will be made this Friday,” he said.

Criminal Record for those who break the orders
He also encouraged the public to obey the orders as anyone who may be charged and penalised, will carry a criminal record for life. He was particular of the church ministers who still want to carry out church services “as if we have given up faith.”

Tuilaepa also discouraged cultural practices for incidents such as funerals that usually demand elaborate services and social and cultural ceremonies that bring hundreds of people together with high spending of family resources.

“My advice is if there’s a funeral, the burial must be immediate, have kopai (sweetened flour balls cooked in cream) or alaisa faapopo – cooked rice in salted coconut cream to treat the church minister, or get some coconuts if there is no sugar to sweeten the kopai. But stick to five people,” Tuilaepa encouraged.

Returning the Melindo Aircraft
With the Covid-19 air travel lock down, the Government will decide this week to return the Melindo Airways aircraft and crew that had been on a wet lease to Samoa Airways.
“Maybe it is timely as air travel is locked down and we may look at another aircraft for Samoa Airways when things are back normal,” said the PM.

Samoa Airways last flight was last Wednesday night.