Increasing numbers of frontliners contracted the virus a concern


The increasing number of frontliners that contracted COVID is a concern despite not being able to divulge the data on how many have tested positive.

Acting Director-General, Tagaloa Dr. Robert Thomsen said frontliners tested positive are increasing but they can’t give out exactly how many, referring to the nurses, doctors, Police Officers, and FESA officers working around the clock.

To date more than 50 Police Officers have tested positive with COVID, this was confirmed by Deputy Police Commissioner, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo in response to questions from Radio Polynesia.

“We are evaluating our operational plan on the daily basis to ensure the lockdown operation is not disrupted.”

Adding that Police Officers are being isolated at hotels as they cannot go back to their families due to exposure concerns.

Auapa’au also commended his officers for their commitment in upholding their sworn oath to uphold the law and serve the public.

“I also want to applaud the courage and the sacrifice of our Officers to serve the Country through these trying times; leaving their families behind while they report to work, despite seeing the increasing numbers of officers tested positive for Covid, they are not discouraged. 

Their commitment is commendable,” said the Deputy Commissioner. 

File photo of Police during the last lockdown.
PC: Samoa Police

Commissioner of the Fire Emergency Services Authority, Tanuvasa Pitone Mauga confirmed that 16 FESA officer were tested positive for COVID.

Adding that it is required for all responders to be in full Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

“We continue to respond to emergency calls from the public and I guess that’s how staff members may have got it.

“While we continuously stress safety precautions, when dealing with saving lives often one forgets about themselves.”

The FESA Commissioner said they now have approval from MoH to test patients as they respond to calls for emergencies.

“Hopefully, this will not only allow hospital staff to prepare as appropriate before hand over but will also alert our responders to be extra cautious,” said Tanuvasa in response to questions from Radio Polynesia. 

Tagaloa said the increasing numbers are concerning for the National Emergency Operations Committee and the Disaster Advisory Committee.

Regarding the nurses and doctors affected, Tagaloa confirmed that some have been tested positive, during a press conference with the media today. 

Asked as to what plans the Government has in place to counter this matter and whether this will affect the hospital’s operation especially now dealing with the pandemic.

In response, the Acting Director-General explained they have opted for “skeleton staff” to work each shift to assure the staff are not strained and the operation continues without any disruption.