American Samoa

Another American Samoa lawmaker returns Covid-19 cheque

Pago Pago Representative Vesiai Poyer Samuelu said when the cheques were distributed he questioned the House speaker about the source of the money but got no answer.

Some lawmakers had said the leaders told them the funds can be used to set up offices in their homes and pay for telephone and internet costs.

The House Speaker and Senate President received US$20,000 while senators and representatives got US$10,000 each.

Tuala uta Representative Larry Sanitoa was the first legislator to return his cheque.

Public gatherings, church services allowed in American Samoa

The fifth Amended Emergency Declaration is effective from today and allows public gatherings which are limited to 150 people and with social distancing in place.

Businesses can now operate from 5am to 9 pm but must allow just 50 percent of their capacity within the premises.

All schools will remain shut for the next 30 days, with the current school year closed.

Public beaches and parks have reopened for the first time since March.

American Samoa does not have a confirmed case of Covid-19.

The new declaration is in effect until 1 July.

     

American Samoa sends sample of suspected case

The case is a woman who is being quarantined at home after travelling to New Zealand.

The local resident had already spent 14 days in quarantine in Samoa before arriving in the territory on 14 March.

Department of Health Epidemiologist Aifili Dr John Tufa said two days before she arrived in American Samoa she developed a slight cough.

She had been given a three day health clearance by the Samoa's Ministry of Health.

A few days later she started having breathing problems and called the Department of Health.

Coronavirus: 3 more in quarantine in American Samoa

The woman travelled via New Zealand, one of the men travelled from Kuwait, and the other man had served as a missionary in France.

Under Department of Health policies, they were expected to spend 14 days in quarantine in Honolulu and obtain a health clearance three days before flying to American Samoa.

Hawaiian Air is supposed to enforce the regulations but the three travellers were allowed to board.

That brings the number of people currently in quarantine at the Leone Health Center to four.

A man arriving from South Korea was taken in last week.

American Samoa won't host Polynesian Leaders Group

American Samoa was to host the inter-governmental meeting involving eight Polynesian members in April.

Originally the territory was to host the event in July 2019 but Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga asked Tuvalu, which hosted the Pacific Forum meeting, to host the PLG alongside the forum.

Lolo had said the territory would step up and host the meeting in January 2020 instead.

However, because of the Samoan measles epidemic, the governor then postponed the meeting until April.

Another measles case confirmed in American Samoa

The government said the latest case was a 28-year-old man from Fagaitua village, who has not left American Samoa in the past three months.

A woman, 27, is also thought to have measles, with samples sent to Hawaii for testing.

The territory is under an emergency declaration, with travel restrictions imposed on the territory's border, public gatherings restricted, and a mass vaccination campaign underway.

Earlier this week, the US announced it would provide $US490,000 of funding to help support the territory's efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.

American Samoa lifts public gathering ban

 

He said he was briefed by health officials and based on that, he had made changes to the public health emergency declaration.

The ban on entry permits has also been lifted but are still subject to restrictions.

The proclamation of amended restriction during the continued public health emergency includes the following:

The restriction on public gatherings is hereby lifted

All entry permits from the Independent State of Samoa will require a 15 day review period while those from other countries will be under review for 30 days

American Samoa tests for local measles transmission

Department of Health Epidemiologist Dr. Aifili John Tufa said they are still investigating how the child contracted the measles virus.

The territory has received a shipment of 8,000 vaccines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is launching a mass vaccination program in villages tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the vaccination of employees of the StarKist Samoa cannery which has a workforce of 2,000.

This past week only one measles suspected case was seen at the LBJ Hospital and a blood sample is being sent to Hawaii for testing.

American Samoa confirms nine measles cases

Of the nine, five are people who are travellers to the territory.

Epidemiologist Dr Aifili John Tufa announced the outbreak during a live broadcast fundraiser to help neighbouring Samoa's fight against the disease.

Dr Tufa later told KHJ News they believe there are other cases that have not presented at the hospital.

American Samoa ramps up immunisation efforts amid measles fears

On Thursday, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga declared a public heath emergency meaning all travellers from Tonga and Samoa must show proof of MMR vaccination or immunity.

Although two health community centres at Leone and Amouli have been closed due to a nursing shortage, the Tafuna Community Health Center's hours have been extended and a local baby clinic is also administering shots.

The Department of Health's Aifili Dr John Tufa said immunisation was the best protection and was needed to keep the measles at bay.