Tuilaepa claims conflicting reports of COVID related deaths “worrying”


Former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi is questioning alleged conflicting reports by the Ministry of Health, specifically the total number of Samoans who have passed away on covid related causes.

This is outlined in a press release by the Human Rights Protection Party questioning the timely situational reports on COVID.

Radio Polynesia points out the press release by the HRPP comes hours after the MOH issued the latest situational reports outlining new information about the three latest deaths recorded. Also included in that MOH report are the data for the last seven days.

His comments follow the release of the $10million dollar grant by the Asian Development Bank under its Pacific Resilience Program to assist with the Samoa Government’s response to COVID-19 community transmission.

Adding that Samoa is a founding member of the ADB.

The Opposition leader expressed appreciation for this timely assistance from the ADB but also offered some timely advice for the government.

He stressed the need for more timely situational reports on the developments of the government efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The country needs to know the full extent of what we are facing.”

The veteran politician said he is worried about conflicting reports, especially the total number of Samoans who have passed away on covid related causes.

He pointed out the press release from ADB of 25 April 2022 and noted the donor agencies deserve to be given up to date data to help them make important decisions on assistance to help us deal with problems we are facing.

The HRPP is also disputing reports from the Ministry of Health there are 16 covid related deaths. However, Party Secretary Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi said there are reliable media reports that more than 40 bodies are at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole hospital morgue, mostly in body bags.

Adding that when bodies are stored in body bags, then there is reason to believe these poor people have not died of natural ailments and If these people have indeed died from covid related problems, the people need to know and the public should not be fed piecemeal information,” said Lealailepule.

“There are unusually too many deaths in the villages and many of them are not reported by the families”.

The Secretary urged the people responsible to make sure information is released on a more timely basis and that the information is correct and up to date.

“We are facing life and death situations here and if we are not given up to date and correct information to push and entice people to get vaccinated, then we will lose more.”