Samoa has reported a number of new COVID-19 cases every day since the first case of community transmission was identified last week.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Samoa has reported countless new COVID-19 cases every day since the first case of community transmission was detected last week.
The South Pacific island nation with a population of 200,000 has been on lockdown since Saturday as it battled its first outbreak of the epidemic.
The outbreak was discovered when a woman who was going to travel tested positive for the virus last Thursday, indicating that the virus had spread unintentionally for days or even weeks.
Samoa reported 95 more cases in the 24 hours from Saturday and 85 more on Sunday.
Of the 196 active cases, only 15 were imported from abroad, according to the latest official statement received on Monday. More than 2,200 tests have been carried out since Friday, the statement said.
Samoa and several neighboring Pacific island nations were among the last places in the world to avoid the virus. However, more transmissible omikron has changed the alternative equation, and one island nation after another is falling prey to Covid-19.
Since the beginning of the year, Kiribati, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands and American Samoa have experienced their first major outbreaks.
All Samoan schools have been closed, public gatherings have been banned, and all stores and other services have been closed, except as considered essential.
The lockdown is expected to last until Tuesday, but many are hoping it will be extended.
In Samoa, previous virus scares and lockdowns were positive after passengers tested positive for isolated aircraft, but so far no community outbreaks have been averted.
Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Nauru are among the few remaining Pacific island nations that have managed to avoid omikron outbreaks.