MOH has yet to identify which variant rapidly spreading in Samoa


To date, the Ministry of Health has yet to identify which Coronavirus variant that’s rapidly spreading in the Country.

“We are still awaiting results from New Zealand,” said Acting Director-General Tagaloa Dr Robert Thomsen during an online press conference today.

Adding they have followed up recently and the response is that they require more time, as they are overwhelmed with other laboratory samples submitted for results domestically.

Tagaloa said the only level-3 laboratory to test COVID samples, close to Samoa is located in Wellington and this is where other Pacific Islands send their laboratory samples for testing.

He explained these laboratories are certified to conduct genome sequencing a method that is used to determine the entire genetic makeup of a specific organism or cell type. 

The latest data released from the Ministry of Health indicated a total of 1,364 of community cases in the Country.

The statement issued by the National Emergency Operations Center says that approximately 96 percent of community cases are confirmed in Upolu with the remaining 4 percent of total cases in Savaii.

Level three laboratories or BSL-3 typically include work on microbes that are either indigenous or exotic and can cause serious or potentially lethal disease through inhalation.

Examples of microbes that worked within a BSL-3 include; yellow fever, West Nile virus, and the bacteria that causes tuberculosis.

The microbes are so serious that the work is often strictly controlled and registered with the appropriate government agencies.