Alert level 3 lockdown extended another two weeks


The Samoa Government has extended its Alert level 3 lockdown mandate for another two weeks, due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 in the community.

“The surge in the community cases was expected and will continue, to increase due to the transmissibility of the virus.

“However it is clinically proven, that promoting the practices of simple protective behaviours that can reduce risk to ourselves, our friends and families; such as staying home, to reduce contact, and adhering to the preventative health measures will help reduce new infections, and subsequently contain community transmission,” said Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa during a special this afternoon from her office.

Adding that these are crucial components of the Country’s national response to COVID-19 which will support the Ministry of Health to undertake all necessary health measures to contain the spread of the virus and respond in cases requiring hospital care.

To date, there are 262 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 15 of which are imported cases of passengers on the repatriation flight from New Zealand in early March.

She said enhancing surveillance and maintaining high surveillance rates necessitate the rollout of the pediatric Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11 years old, expected to start in Savai’i this week.

“And the continuation of the vaccination roll out for everyone including booster does once the bulk supplies arrive over next week.”

The Prime Minister said their message at the outset of the COVID-19 national response is that vaccines are highly effective in protecting against severe disease, unfortunately, the tests conducted this week, showed that some have not even started their vaccination or completed their second vaccine.

“This is a concern,” said the Prime Minister.

This led Cabinet to consider the recommendations by the Disaster Advisory Committee to approve the continuation of level 3 lockdown for another 14 days commencing midnight tonight, Tuesday 22 of March, to Tuesday, April, 5th.

“There will be the opportunity to review the timeframe at the end of the first week of the lockdown and essential services will open from 8 am to 2 pm, on Wednesday tomorrow give the late notice, Saturday 26 of March, Tuesday 29, March, Saturday 2 April, and Tuesday 5 April.

“All other services will close throughout the two weeks,” said the Prime Minister.

The Ministry of Health will continue to lead the testing; monitor current and emerging cases;  and rollout vaccinations for children, youth, and adults.

The Prime Minister said every phase of Samoa’s journey will present new difficulties but they must remain resilient and unified and accept that everyone contributes to maintaining the wellbeing and health of the nation.