Samoa’s state of emergency, issued nine months ago, has been extended to 23 December after the country recorded its first positive test for Covid-19.

Public concern and uncertainty swept across the country following Thursday’s announcement by the government.

The man was among 26 sailors who arrived in Apia on Friday last week on a repatriation flight from Auckland with more than 250 others.

The government said he was stationed in Europe, adding all the sailors were tested for coronavirus upon arrival at Faleolo Airport.

An initial test at the airport returned a negative result for the coronavirus.

But the second test on Wednesday came back positive, making him Samoa’s first suspected case for the virus.

However, a third test yesterday returned a negative result.

PM calls for calm

Addressing the nation, Prime Minister Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi called for calm and urged people to keep faith and wear masks.

He also urged the public to continue to follow the advice of authorities and government officials.

He said Samoa had been preparing to deal with incidents of this nature.

Many Samoans were heeding their leaders’ call, with people seen with masks around Apia.

But they were also nervous.


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