Active Covid 19 cases increase to 22, almost half are children with numbers expected to increase

Several nurses from Samoa will arrive next month to help with the staff shortage at the Health Department

As of this afternoon the number of active Covid-19 cases on the island has increased to 22, with eight of them children. The Head of Public Health of the Health Department Ms Grizelda Mokoia told BCN News this afternoon that they are expecting this number to increase over the coming days.

“The number of cases started to increase a week or so ago, we were expecting the numbers to increase because of the mobilisation of people around the island. Today we are sitting on 22 cases and we are still expecting more people to let us know or confirm with the health department”

Mokoia said that they suspect people are also not testing thinking that all they have is the common cold or the flu but she said it is critical to test, especially if people are displaying flu-like symptoms.

“I guess people might have mistaken their symptoms for just the ordinary flu but we’re encouraging everybody with flu-like symptoms to please test to confirm or to rule out covid. We are still encouraging our people to test.

We have also reinstating RATs testing at the hospital from last week, so if you’re coming to the hospital you’re also expected to do your RATs test before you can come in to see the doctor, especially if you’re presenting with flu-like illness,” said Ms Mokoia.

Positive cases are expected to isolate in their homes for five days, and the household contacts, people living in the same household are expected to test daily and wear masks when out in public.

The health department have also noted that the current cases are also repeat positives, which means these people have previously tested positive which could also mean a new variant but they are planning on sending samples to New Zealand for confirmation of which variant.

Head of Public Health, Ms Grizelda Mokoia said they are expecting number of cases to increase over the coming days

Mokoia said that they also noticed the cases detected last week which started this latest spike in numbers were workers from the hospitality industry, which she said is not surprising as the number of visitors to the island increase and the lifting of all Covid-19 restrictions in March of this year.

In the meantime, the Health department is finalising their formalities with the manufacturers of the vaccines and will inform the public in due time when they can come in to get their children vaccinated or get their booster shots.

“For the adults the booster dose will be available for those people thirty years and older. We are grateful for the ones who have already shown interest to get the vaccinations so we’re just waiting for the formalities to be finalised and then let the public know.

We will no longer be carrying out the vaccinations in large campaigns like last time, we will do it in small number of people at a time and offer it to whoever wants to get vaccinated.”

The message from the Health Department is to be vigilant and practice safety precautionary measures to avoid spreading the virus further.

Ms Grizelda Mokoia said that “We want to re-emphasise like before with the previous outbreak to remind people to test if you have flu-like symptoms and report to the public health if you test positive. So those testing positive please stay at home and isolate and for the rest of the family to also follow the safety precautionary measures for Covid like wearing masks when you’re in public gatherings and daily tests for the five days and also emphasising on social distancing as well.”

Since March 2022, the total number of active cases of Covid-19 detected on the island is nearing 900 with 99.4 percent of residents twelve years and older fully vaccinated.

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