Good evening Samoa,
Our latest COVID 19 update yesterday confirmed 182 new community cases, taking the number of active community cases to 1,239. 97% percent of these cases are based in Upolu and 3% in Savaii. Currently there are no cases in our Intensive Care Unit. Most of the cases that were isolated in isolation wards at Motootua after developing mild symptoms have been discharged.
Cabinet last week resolved to review its decision on our current alert level and corresponding SOE Orders, after the first week of implementation which concludes tomorrow, Tuesday 29th March.
Critical to this review are recommendations for the next course of action from the Disaster Advisory Committee. At its meeting this afternoon, Cabinet was advised that we would be receiving 70,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine tomorrow afternoon. This coincides with the plan to commence the mass vaccination of booster doses on Thursday this week in Upolu and on Friday in Savaii. The vaccination roll out will coincide with the ‘mop up’ campaigns for first doses of the paediatric Pfizer for the 5-11 year old cohort, and second doses for the 11-17 age group and 18 plus.
In rolling out this plan, Cabinet is mindful of the capacity of our frontline workers given the increasing numbers of those who have tested positive and are being isolated. Allowing our frontline workers space to recuperate and to roster their teams with assistance from the health private sector, will ensure continuity of our national COVID 19 response, as well as commitment to other equally important health services such as our national immunization programs to be delivered in a safe environment.
It also provides room for different sectors of the economy, including the private sector and the community to finalize their response plans going forward to reflect the new norm of ‘living with COVID 19’ and identifying the best ways to move forward with the gradual opening of borders.
With the rapid surge in new infections, our aim is to slow down transmission and to drive our vaccination to achieve the targeted coverage required for herd immunity. It is clear from clinical evidence that chances of developing acute symptoms of, or likely death from COVID 19 will be minimal with complete vaccination and a booster dose. It is important for all of us to get maximum protection by completing all our vaccinations given the prevalence of non-communicable diseases in Samoa.
In this regard, Cabinet this afternoon approved the continuation of the second week of alert level 3 for Samoa commencing from tomorrow midnight (Tuesday 29th March 2022) to midnight of Tuesday next week (5th April 2022).
Cabinet has also approved amendments to the current State of Emergency Orders to ensure that our people continue to access essential services and to replenish their food supplies. Essential services that are currently open under level 3 will now open from 6am – 4pm on Tuesday (29th March), Thursday (31st March), Saturday (2nd April) and Tuesday (5th April). The scheduled dates for the roll out of the vaccination programs will be published.
The relevant details of the SOE Orders will be communicated through government information platforms.
We thank you for continuing to work closely with the government, and for all your prayers in these tough times.
God bless Samoa.