MOH Acting DG: “there is no confirmation that something like that occurred”


The Ministry of Health has dismissed the photo of a man on an oxygen machine at the security booth, that went viral online over the weekend was at any of their district hospitals.

The photo accompanied a post on social media, by a Sia Osa indicating that her 76-year-old father from Siumu tested positive for COVID, and visited the District Hospital in Poutasi when her father was having a hard time breathing.

However, they were made to sit outside the security booth while her father was on the oxygen machine. 

Acting Director-General of Health, Tagaloa Dr. Robert Thompson said in a brief phone interview with Radio Polynesia this morning “there is no confirmation that something like that occurred.

“I looked into and asked those at the District hospitals in rural areas and they have confirmed that nothing like that happened,” said Tagaloa.

But his daughter, Mrs. Sia Osa told Samoa Global, that her father Mano Tupuola Sekono Fetoai tested positive at Poutasi District Hospital on Tuesday last week, and was sent home to self-isolate.

When he was complaining of a tight chest and said he couldn’t breathe, they rushed him to the hospital.

“But when we got there, they said we couldn’t enter the hospital grounds because we were both positive.. this was at around 5 pm.

Sia told Samoa Global, the medical staff at Poutasi tested her when they arrived, and she was confirmed she was positive. They gave him oxygen, but he was sitting outside in the cold wet weather and she was worried it would make him worse. Once he’d had two rounds of the oxygen mask, he felt better and they went home, says Samoa Global.

Radio Polynesia contacted the Director General again giving for comments, but he said: “I have nothing to say to the media” and hung up the phone.

Efforts were made to get direct comments from the Minister of Health Valasi Tafito Selesele and Chairman of the National Emergency Operations Committee, Agafili Shem Leo, but the calls were not answered.