Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital News
Fiji has expressed interest in joining a quarantine-free travel 'bubble' with Australia and New Zealand, which account for many of the tropical idyll's tourists

Capital Health

Pacific’s Samoa records first case of coronavirus

Apia, Samoa, Nov 19 – Samoa announced its first case of Covid-19 on Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to spread to previously untouched Pacific island nations.

Prime Minister Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi called for calm in the nation of 200,000 after confirming a man who flew into the country last Friday tested positive while in managed isolation.

“We now have one case and will be added to the countries of the world that have the coronavirus,” the mask-wearing leader said during a televised address on Thursday.

Until recently, the remote Pacific islands were among the most successful in the world at keeping out the virus after closing their borders early in response to the threat, despite the huge cost to tourism-reliant economies.

But in the past two months, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, the Marshall Islands and now Samoa have lost their coveted virus-free status, although none have so far reported community transmission.

The island nations and territories of Kiribati, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Tonga, and Tuvalu are believed to still be free of the virus.

The cautious approach adopted in the Pacific islands was prompted by fears they are particularly vulnerable because of poor hospital infrastructure and high rates of underlying health conditions such as obesity and heart disease.

The devastation a viral outbreak can create in such a fragile environment was demonstrated during a measles epidemic in Samoa late last year that claimed 83 lives, most of them babies and toddlers.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Malielegaoi said the infected man, a sailor, had arrived on a repatriation flight via Auckland, one of the few border arrivals Samoa has allowed in recent months.

He did not say where the man was previously based but said he tested negative before departing New Zealand but a swab came back positive on Tuesday.

He said an announcement would be made later Thursday on whether any measures would be introduced among the general population to prevent the virus from spreading.


More on Capital News


London (AFP), Jan 18 – Oil prices traded at the highest levels in more than seven years Tuesday, in part on hopes of a...

Top stories

NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 18 – Deputy President William Ruto has appealed to the youth to take advantage of the ongoing mass voter registration to...

Top stories

NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 18 – Glovo, one of the world’s leading multi-category delivery players, has been ranked top in the gig workspace in Kenya,...


Sanaa (AFP), Jan 18 – The Saudi-led coalition killed 14 people in air strikes on Yemen’s rebel-held capital, a medical source said Tuesday, after...


KAMPALA, Uganda, Jan 18 – Uganda announced Tuesday it was suspending mandatory Covid testing at the border with Kenya after the measure caused huge...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18 – Kenya’s highest court began Tuesday weighing a legal bid to revive government plans to shake up the country’s political...

County News

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18 – Businessman Jimi Wanjigi has been arrested after a day of drama at his Kwacha House offices in Nairobi’s Westlands...


Wellington (AFP), Jan 17 – A volcano that exploded in the Pacific island nation of Tonga has almost disappeared from view, new images revealed...