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Lab equipment and supplies readied for Samoa's Covid-19 response

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Source: RNZ Pacific

Apia, SAMOA — Samoa is to get $US2.3 million worth of laboratory equipment and medical supplies for its Covid-19 response.

The UN Office for Project Services is procuring the equipment with financial assistance from the World Bank and the Samoan government.

Under the project, the UN Office is also responsible for coordination, planning and monitoring, as well as logistical management within the country.

The first medical supplies and a Polymerase Chain Reaction machine have been handed over to Samoa's Ministry of Health to be used in the country's health care system.

In addition, waste management solutions for the safe disposal of hazardous medical waste will also be procured through the project.

A UNOPS regional director, Samina Kadwani, said the agency recognized the challenges and vulnerabilities associated with the spread of the coronavirus in Samoa.

Kadwani said they had taken immediate action to strengthen surveillance capacity at Samoa's hospitals and healthcare centers to prevent, detect and respond to the potential spread of the virus.

In addition to support for Samoa, UNOPS partners in the Pacific region with the World Bank in conducting Covid-19 mitigation operations in Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia.

This assistance is designed to assist the scale-up of health capacity to address both

immediate needs as well as respond to the longer-term impacts of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Samoa's two imported Covid-19 positive cases to date have been discharged from the special hospital ward and released to their families after final health tests results on Monday came out negative.

They are the last two people of the 274 incoming passengers who were quarantined for 21 days after health tests had discovered positive and negative results for a 23 year old returned sailor and a 73 year old father.