Confusion in Samoa over recently-announced Covid-19 case

This story was originally appeared on RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission

There’s confusion in Samoa this morning over whether the country has its first case of Covid-19 or not.

Hands in medical gloves holding COVID-19 swab. Test tube for taking patient sample, PCR DNA testing protocol process. Nasal swab laboratory test in hospital lab.

Photo: 123RF

The man in question arrived in Apia last Friday from Auckland, and tested negative at the airport. But a second test on Wednesday returned a positive result.

A third test came back negative on Thursday.

Correspondent in Samoa, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia said yesterday the Ministry of Health in a press conference announced that “a swab test from that positive case will be sent today to New Zealand for further examination”.

He could not say if the first positive result was a false positive, but he told Morning Report the country was now waiting on the result from New Zealand.

“According to the director-general of health it could be a technical error, but they’re not sure why it came out first positive and the following two tests came out negative.”

He said soon as the first result was out, the person who was a returned Samoan sailor from Europe, was sent along with a colleague to an isolation ward at a national hospital. They shared a room at a quarantine facility.

“It’s been nine months we’re still in a state of emergency,” he said.

The government has put in place restrictions and there are awareness programmes for the community.

He said soon as people heard of the positive test result, many were seen wearing masks and a couple of schools closed.

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