Samoan School Closes as Fears of COVID-19 Infection Rise

Staff Reporters

APIA, SAMOA -10 NOVEMBER 2020: The St. Peter Chanel Primary School at Moamoa closed at 1200 today as parents were asked to pick up their children immediately as a student was confirmed to have been in contact with someone who worked in clearing cargo from the cargo ship with three infected crew now confirmed in American Samoa.

The cargo ship Fesco Askold docked at the Apia wharf last Saturday 7 November then travelled to American Samoa.

The cases were confirmed by the DOH Epidemiologist Dr. Aifili John Tufa after the American Samoa Health testing protocols, where the crew of the vessel were tested for COVID-19 before anyone could disembark or any cargo could be unloaded.

Inquiries with the CEO of the Ministry of Health today were not answered and the Chairman of the National Emergency Operations Centre, Agafili Shem Leo said a statement will be released later after a Cabinet briefing.

In advising the parents, Principal Tepora Tu’i wrote, “It has been confirmed a student in Year 1 has been in direct contact with a family member who worked in clearing cargo from the Fesco Askold Ship which has confirmed Covi-19 cases in Pago.

“At this stage we are waiting for the Government announcement as now contact tracing is now in place.

“Parents are advised to pick up their children now from school and we will continue to maintain communications based on government information.”

Port Administration and other ASG personnel at the entrance to the Port of Pago Pago stand guard as security is tight at the dock due to a vessel in port with three confirmed COVID-19 cases. All crew members remain on the vessel. [photo: AF]
Talanei news in American Samoa  reports today that the container vessel Fesco Asgold left port around 9 am and is now waiting about five miles out of the Harbour for further instructions from health officials concerning off-loading operations.

The port was closed around the same time until 7:30 am tomorrow and sections of the dock area are being disinfected.

The three crew members of the container vessel who tested positive yesterday for the Coronavirus, remain on the vessel.

None of the crew members left the vessel while it was in port from noon yesterday to 9 this morning when it pulled out to wait outside the harbor.

11 people were taken into quarantine last night at the Tafuna Quarantine Center, because they went on board the vessel or were exposed at some point to the three crew members who tested positive or those who went on board to do the tests.

The Fesco Askold left California around October 24th. It was in Tahiti November 3rd for one day and was in Apia on 7 November and docked in American Samoa 8 November.

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