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Final year college students are to sit the national Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) exam this week starting on Tuesday right up to Friday.

The Ministry of Education is taking into consideration the measles epidemic and overseas travel for students who are unable to sit.

 Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma, has made it clear that the rights of the parents to deny the children measles vaccination is overruled when it comes to the safety of children in a deadly health epidemic.

He gave his position in response to the current argument of the rights of parents to decide what is best for their children that included not having them vaccinated.

A roadside brawl in front of a busy supermarket next to the main road at Vailoa, threatened public safety when it spilled onto the road.

Eyewitness reported empty bottles and rocks flying around and onto oncoming traffic.

The violence broke out between two groups of men at around 9.00pm in the evening, according to people who were present when it happened.

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is not ready to accept fingers pointed at the New Zealand measles outbreak, as the origins of the virus that started the epidemic in Samoa.

“There are 10 million cases of the measles in the world and the source of the virus in Samoa is not known,” Peters added as a footnote in a meeting with the media on Friday.

The national state of emergency over the measles epidemic is extended for another two weeks, past Christmas Day to the 29th of December 2019.

The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi made the formal announcement only hours ago inside his office.

There are still 16,000 thousand people to be vaccinated, according to the PM.  The pulenu'u mop up operation has so far recorded 1342 unvaccinated people, 579 are 19 years and under with 763 above the younger age group.

Local

A warning reminder to the pubic with the numerous sightings of children in public gatherings was issued this morning from the National Emergency Operation Centre, NEOC.

The warning comes on the last week of the National State of Emergency declared for four weeks.

The measles death toll now stands at 70 with 2 more fatalities added in the last 24 hours in Update Report 23.

The added new deaths is a drop of 1 from 3 recorded in the previous Update Report 22 on the 8 December 2019.

The highest death count within a 24 hour period is still 5 in Update Report 18 on 4 December 2019.

Three more measles related deaths have been recorded within the last 24 hours in Update Report 22 from the Ministry of Health to put the total death toll at 68.

The added deaths is an increase of 1 from the previous 2 in in the previous 24 hour Update Report 21. 

Within the last 5 updates, the highest number of deaths recorded within a 24 hour period is 5 for Update Report 18 on the 4 December 2019.

The Russian Sailing Training Ship “Pallada” is currently in Samoa as part of an expedition voyage around the world with scheduled visits to 10 different countries.

The vessel sailed into port at the Matautu-tai wharf on Friday afternoon with a

crew of about 146 people including a mix of experienced and new young cadet sailors on

The Samoa stop over is for three days to foster peaceful diplomatic relationships between the two countries.

Apia came back to life today bringing back the crowd and business in a rush for Saturday shopping and other left over chores they were able to squeeze in before town closed down for the weekend at 12.00 noon.

The town area was in a virtual standstill from Thursday to Friday during working hours while vaccination teams went on the run to administer measles injections from house to house.

Vaccination teams in the house to house emergency injection campaign on Friday morning came across more than just the tell-tale red flags and rags to show families who needed their services.

There were also people so keen to be vaccinated they had no problems waiting alongside the road from the vaccination team to arrive.

Emosi Leasi, a 70 year old elderly who was on crutches, set himself up on the side of the road with his big red flag further inland at Afega village.

Staff Writer
 

The measles death toll added 2 more in the latest Update 21, to show the count fluctuating at a steady low of between 2 and 1 in the last three updates.

Update 19 showed the count at 2 until it dropped to 1 in Update 20 and now it is back up to 2 with Update 21.

The number of new cases recorded within the same period is also down to 103, a drop of 37 from the previous count for Update 20 of 140.

Staff Writer


Only one person died from the measles in the last 24 hours to bring the total to 63,  as the emergency mass vaccination count reaches 20,000 by 11.00am this morning.

The solitary fatality in this latest Update 20 report is compared to only two from the previous Update 19.

The number of new recorded cases have dropped to 140 in this latest update compared to 165 in Update 9.

By Staff Writer

Hawaiian lady vaccinators assigned to a local team, were working on the run this morning to cover their selected area on the final day of the emergency campaign but still had time to appreciate, the ‘very friendly people’ of Samoa.

 This was first expression for the two lady volunteer workers who are in Samoa in response to the call for help in the fight against the measles epidemic.

By Staff Writer

Vaccination teams spilled onto Beach Road before sunrise this morning, on the final day of the emergency mass vaccination campaign started yesterday ( Thursday).

The closed off street where the national emergency operations were co-ordinated since the start of the vaccination campaign ran out of space.

 Government was forced to move out onto Beach Road and public notice was sent out for traffic to be diverted to other alternative routes.

5th December 2019, Apia — As Samoa grapples with an unprecedented measles epidemic, the United Nations Development Programme is working with the Government of Samoa to improve the collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination of critical health information to rebuild public confidence about vaccines, especially at the community level.

Measles vaccination teams will have little trouble finding the homes where their service is needed, when they travel the one way street of the To’omatagi Residential area tomorrow (Friday).

Red rags blossomed like flowers late in the day in front of family homes where it would be hard for the visiting measles vaccinators to miss.

Red pieces of clothing were seen tied to roadside rubbish bins, hibiscus hedges and electricity utility poles.

Food and children clothing were among the loads that were trucked to the Ministry of Health on Wednesday from a group of Chinese businesses to help with the measles epidemic effort.

The Princessa Chain Stores, ICY Water Company Ltd, Payless Company Limited, DLY and Treasure Garden made up the donor group.

 The assistance is reportedly something the group had talked about for a while.

Staff Writer

The measles death toll is at 62 with 2 more fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.

New deaths recorded in the last three 24 hour updates shows a clear downward fluctuations with a 2-5-2 fatality sequence.

Update 17 showed 2 fatalities in 24 hours, Update 18 followed with the fatality count up by 5 and this latest recording for Update 19 is back down to only 2.

Crime

Deidre Fanene

The man who broke into the Police Station and stole a portion of the marijuana seized from the Faleatiu raid last month appeared in Supreme Court this week.

Pauli Lapana 55 is facing charges of unlawful entry when he broke into the Apia Police Station last month.

He was unrepresented, and prosecution Fuifui Ioane asked the court if the matter could be adjourned for two weeks so they could finalise charges.

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