Samoa will be in lockdown from Saturday as they make face at son first epidemic of COVID-19 after a woman who was about to leave the country tested positive.
Although health authorities have so far found just only one case is first the time Samoa has found any unexplained case in the community and probably points to an undetected epidemic that has spread on for days or even weeks.
A government report leaked online indicates that the woman had visited religious services, a hospital, stores, a library and a travel agency since first feel sick last Saturday.
Samoa and several neighboring Pacific island nations were among the last places on earth for avoid virus outbreaks. But the more the transmissible omicron variant has changed the equation, and one by one island nations have succumbed to COVID-19.
Since start of the yearKiribati, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands and American Samoa all had their first big epidemics.
John Fala, who runs a logistics company in Samoa, said it was inevitable that Samoa would eventually catch the virus, a reality brought home for a lot when COVID-19 started to spread in near American Samoa.
“We had two years to prepare,” Fala said. “Now it’s finally happened. Of course, there will be a little of interference.
From Saturday midnight, all schools will be closed, public gatherings will be prohibited, and all stores and other services will be shut down, except for those considered essential. From Friday midnight, people were required wear masks and use vaccination cards.
There were reports Friday of panic buying in advance of containment.
Fala, who is vaccinated, said that son business is considered an essential service and is frantically trying to navigate the new rules to keep it operating.
Containment is initially planned for last until midnight Tuesday although Fala expects it to be extended.
the father of Three young childrenFala said his biggest concern is that the unvaccinated children will catch the virus. He said the nation of 200,000 had good rates of inoculation in adults but had only just started to vaccinate children from 5 to 11 years old in the past week or more.
About 65% of all Samoans received at least two doses of a vaccine against the coronavirus, according to Notre Monde in Data.
The Prime Minister of Samoa, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, said people about the positive case in a special announcement to the nation Thursday night. She said the infected woman was in isolation and that his movements and contacts with people were plotted.
Mata’afa said officials wanted do all their possible to prevent it from spreading rapidly.
“Although our country continues to go through these difficult times, let us continue to trust in the Lord,” says Mata’afa in son announcement.
Samoa has already experienced virus scares and lockdowns after plane passengers returned who tested positive during isolation, but managed to avoid any community outbreaks so far.
Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Nauru are among the few Pacific island nations to have avoided omicron outbreaks.