Samoa’s covid positive cases surge tops 196, report health officials

Apia is under Level 3 lockdown
Apia is under level 3 lockdown as authorities attempt to halt the spread of covid-19. Image: Vaitogi A. Matafeo/Samoa Observer

By Alexander Rheeney in Apia

Samoa’s total number of active covid-19 cases has increased to 196 with the government confirming 192 cases in Upolu and 4 cases in Savai’i.

The Government Press Secretariat’s community transmission update, which was distributed to the local media today, advised that health authorities had identified 85 new community cases by 2pm Sunday.

The new community cases, when added to the 15 imported active cases, pushes Samoa’s total active cases to 196.

The Ministry of Health confirmed that a total of 2207 tests were carried out since 18 March 2022 in six designated covid-19 screening sites, in addition to tests conducted at health facilities.

Out of the 181 active community cases reported, 62 positive cases were confirmed from the six screening sites with 119 cases confirmed in health facilities.

The Red Cross Headquarters at Tuanaimato screening site has so far recorded the highest percentage of positive cases at 47 percent of total covid-19 positive cases confirmed, according to the Press Secretariat.

The ministry has also identified 428 close contacts who are currently under investigation.

Summary of cases
A summary of the statistics provided by the Press Secretariat is that there are 192 active cases in Upolu and 4 in Savai’i with both Manono-Tai and Apolima-Tai still recording zero cases since the first community case was recorded last Thursday.

Current active imported cases stand at 15 (including 3 frontline workers); active community cases total 181; while those currently in the isolation ward at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital at Moto’otua total 11.

According to the Press Secretariat update, there are currently no covid-19 positive cases in the national hospital’s intensive care unit.

The number of community cases are expected to increase following the detection of the country’s first community case last Thursday.

The authorities are yet to ascertain where the individual picked up the infection, as she has been a resident in Apia and did not travel abroad after her arrival in Samoa.

On Saturday, the ministry uploaded an instructional video onto its official Facebook page to show families how they could safely manage home isolation for a family member who tested positive for covid-19 in their own homes.

Impact being felt
The publishing of this instructional video confirmed Samoa’s health apparatus was beginning to feel the impact of the rise in covid-19 cases and now sees home isolation as an alternative to managed isolation in hospitals.

Lalomanu District Hospital’s first community case, which was recorded on Saturday when a man went in and got tested to return positive results, is now in isolation at home with his family which include children.

Staff at the district hospital told the Samoa Observer that he got sick and began to show symptoms of covid-19 after his return to the village from Apia the previous weekend.

Alexander Rheeney is an editor (development) with the Samoa Observer. Republished with permission.

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