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MINISTRY OF HEALTH CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE – 26/03/2020

SAMOA, March 26 - As of March 26, 2020, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Samoa. We continue to provide care for all patients who need it, and are prepared to provide care for those who may become infected with COVID-19.

At the time of this update, 7pm, March 26 2020, we can report the following:

1.) Number of samples sent for COVID-19 testing: 25 2.) Number of samples tested positive: ZERO 3.) Number of samples tested negative: 16 4.) Number of outstanding tests: 9 (4 samples have been sent to NZ on 24/03 and 5 samples are awaiting transport)

These tests were done for people with fever and flu-like symptoms with a recent travel in the past 14 days overseas, reported through active surveillance. We are undertaking active surveillance to detect cases of COVID-19 in Samoa early. We will update the public regularly on the number of people meeting the criteria for COVID-19 testing and their test results.

We encourage all persons who have travelled or transited through countries affected by COVID-19 to monitor themselves for the development of fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have any of these symptoms please contact the Ministry of Health COVID-19 call centre or a doctor for advice.

Additionally, please self-isolate at home. That is to stay in a separate room from family members and use separate eating and drinking utensils.

The Ministry of Health is taking full precautions and preventive measures, to control the transmission of COVID-19, including preparing the health system to treat and care for our patients. The public also needs to do its part to protect Samoa:

1. Wash your hands regularly with soap and clean water or alcohol-based hand rub (Sanitizer). 2. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw it into a bin and wash your hands after. 3. Wear a mask only if you are a sick patient in the hospital, or a healthcare professional working directly with a patient. 4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

5. Call a healthcare provider if you feel sick for medical advice 6. Avoid unnecessary travel 7. Avoid mass gatherings and keep a distance of 1 meter from people with flu-like symptoms (SOCIAL DISTANCING). 8. Clean frequently touched surfaces (i.e. door knobs, counters, phones). 9. Avoid UNNECESSARY visits to hospital, limit family visits to hospital to 1 person, and keep children under age 19 away from hospital 10. Smoking is a risk factor for COVID-19 transmission and complications

Please consult our website, Facebook pages, and MOH call centre for accurate and updated facts, information and travel advisory.

FACEBOOK: Government of Samoa | Public Health, Ministry of Health Samoa

WEBSITE: www.samoagovt.ws | www.health.gov.ws

TOLL FREE: 800-6440

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