Samoa PM announces lifting of Covid-19 State of Emergency after two long years

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After a long and challenging two years and four months, Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa has announced Cabinet’s decision to lift the proclamation of State of Emergency over Samoa.

Samoa first declared it was under a Covid-19 State of Emergency in March 2020.

The Government had been renewing the SOE Orders each month for the past two years and the latest one ended Tuesday 26 July.

PM Mataafa thanked all citizens, Members of the Clergy, Government departments and its frontliners, as well as the Private Sector and members of the community, for their invaluable support throughout.

Mata’afa also made special mention and acknowledged Samoa’s various Development Partners for their loyal support during the pandemic.

“We have arrived at the end of the COVID 19 State of Emergency number 81 which started from midnight of 27th June, 2022 until today. At alert level 1 we have continued to monitor new cases, encouraged vaccinations for the eligible population, and advised on the importance of adhering to preventative public health measures necessary to cushion the severe impacts of COVID 19.

“Our journey with COVID 19 has been a long two years. Like all countries, Samoa has seen and felt the ravages of the virus across all sectors of the economy. Our norms have changed necessitating the practices of wearing masks, social distancing, and adapting to periodic nationwide lockdowns to minimise the rapid spread of the virus. The closing of international borders has impacted all of us. Millions of lives have been lost across the world, likewise we have experienced the same albeit on a lesser scale,” she said.

She said Samoa’s efforts to drive COVID 19 vaccinations, led by the Ministry of Health and well supported by their people, is highly commendable.

“The most recent figures from the Ministry of Health show that 93.6% of those 18 years old and above have been fully vaccinated, 92.4% for the 12 to 17 years old, and 91.4% for the 5 to 11 years old. These figures reflect the status of our collective cooperation and our readiness to move forward with confidence.

“In this regard, Cabinet at its meeting Tuesday approved the removal of the Proclamation of the State of Emergency for Samoa after careful consideration of our current status, and the preparatory measures in place for the reopening of our national borders on 1st August, 2022 as announced earlier,” said Mata’afa.

With the lifting of the SOE, all sectors of Government will return to their normal operations as guided by relevant legislation. International travels will be regulated under the legislative requirements of government border agencies including health, ports, quarantine, customs and immigration. Government will continue to remain vigilant at our borders, she said.

SOURCE: SAMOA GLOBAL NEWS/PACNEWS