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More COVID-19 measures implemented across Pacific

 Air Niugini and Fiji Airways parked at Nadi International Airport

Apia, SAMOA —The Ministry of Health has activated a Hotline to monitor the Coronavirus at its National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) on a 24/7 basis.

The Deputy Director General for Public Health Service, Dr. Robert Thomsen confirmed that the Strategic Plan for COVID-19 is already in place with some of them being activated earlier such as the screening and quarantine at the Airport Health Centre.

“The border control monitoring system of air and sea is also in progress,” he said.

Samoa’s preparations against the coronavirus pandemic were discussed at the 12th Annual Health Sector Forum last Friday attended by medical practitioners and gave the Ministry the chance to update the preparations to face the virus if it does enter Samoa’s shores.

Before the World Health Organization declared the global pandemic on11 March 2020, emphasis on the monitoring system was heavily on people transiting through affected countries, but since then, emphasis is on all countries, with the exception of countries with a 14 days quarantine system in operation.


There is the real concern over the lack of human resources since it is a global pandemic, Samoa like all other countries will have to fend for herself as there will not be any volunteers or assistance from abroad, according to Dr. Thomsen.

Since the high risk groups are adults 60 upwards, Sally Burich of the Samoa Cancer Society and Dr. Lili Ah Ching raised the concern over the services to the elderly people at home and the Home for the Aged and at Mapuifagalele.

Mapuifagalele is labeled as a vulnerable group and Ah Ching believes the Home should be on a lock down as soon as the virus hits Samoa.

This is where Dr. Thomsen made a call for all health sectors and non-government organisations to assist the Taskforce and for everyone from Public Health, Clinical, Radiology, Pharmacy, Laboratory, Biomed, Assets and Maintenance to work together.

(Source: RNZ Pacific)


• Hawaii - as of Tuesday afternoon - now has 14 confirm COVID-19 cases.

• Visitors are urged to stay away from Hawaii for 30-day as the state

deals with the coronavirus.

• Cruise ship passengers and air travelers will undergo more thorough

screening efforts.

(Source: Samoa News reporters)


Due to COVID-19 impacts, local food security, self-sufficiency and access to healthy food and fish are increasingly important. Hawaii longline vessels are positioned to continue supplying fish to Hawaii restaurant and retail markets for local Hawaii consumption during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hawaii longline fishery is the largest food producing industry in the State of Hawaii. The fishery is comprised of 150 active vessels supplying highly monitored fresh, ice-chilled fish to Hawaii and US mainland markets.

The Hawaii longline fishery is considered globally as a golden standard in tuna fisheries, with robust management measures and strict monitoring and enforcement.

Hawaii residents consume seafood at twice the national average, as fish is culturally important to Hawaii’s diverse communities.

According to HLA Executive Director Eric Kingma, PhD, “The Hawaii Longline Association [HLA] is working with government officials, restaurants, and retail outlets to ensure that Hawaii consumers continue to be supplied with safe, high-quality, healthy seafood products caught by Hawaii longline vessels.”

 (Source: Hawaii Longline Association)


The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Pacific has risen to eight, with two more people testing positive on Guam.

Guam's health department has tested dozens of people since the first cases on the island were confirmed on Sunday night.

Tuesday's cases include a relative of one of those confirmed to have the virus on Sunday, and another person who recently travelled to the Philippines.

All five confirmed cases are in isolation.


The Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia say they both have one person each under investigation for Covid-19.

The person in the Marshall Islands is being quarantined at the US Army Garrison on Kwajalein Atoll, while a person in Pohnpei has also been sequestered.

The suspected cases follow the confirmation of the coronavirus in Guam and Hawaii - the two main entry points for both countries.

Meanwhile, the Marshall Islands has extended its ban on all incoming international travel for an additional two weeks. It has also banned domestic travel between Kwajalein and Majuro on United Airlines, because of fears people could be exposed to passengers on the Island Hopper service coming from Guam or Honolulu.

All states in the Federated States of Micronesia have now closed schools, while Marshall Islands schools remain open for now.

(Source: RNZ Pacific_