Samoa's Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa has announced the country will be going into lockdown from 6pm tonight until 6pm on Monday evening.

 

The prime minister has confirmed this at an emotional press announcement from her office.

The 48 hour lockdown was recommended by the National Emergency Operations Committee (NEOC) and lifts the emergency alert level to 3 or high risk.

Only essential services will be allowed but all offices and shops including all public transport will be closed including all churches.

"No vehicles will be allowed on the roads during his time and Police will be monitoring."

The prime minister said the decision is to ensure proper measures are in place to avert community transmission.

"The measures are not intended to cause panic but to ensure safety," she said.

Fiame called for national prayers to ensure Samoa is protected in these hard times.

The lockdown comes after five more passengers who travelled to Samoa from Brisbane on Wednesday tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday while in quarantine. This brings to 15 the number of positive coronavirus test results from the Brisbane flight.

Of the 73 passengers who travelled to Samoa, 10 had tested positive upon arrival on Wednesday and were immediately sent to managed isolation at the special wards in the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital.

Nine others who were in close contact with the first 10 positives are also in isolation,

National Emergency Operations Centre chairman Agafili Shem Leo warned at a press conference on Thursday that it was highly likely that Samoa would move from level 1 to level 2 if more cases are discovered.

The Samoa Shipping Corporation, which operates the inter-island ferries between Upolu and Savaii pre-empted the government announcement by advising all passengers at the Mulifanua wharf this morning that a proposed lockdown has forced them to set the last sailing for midday today.