The National Council of Churches, NCC, call for a national day of contrition through prayer and fasting is denied by Government.
The NCC wanted a public holiday declared today on Friday, for the country to ask forgiveness for any wrong doing that has brought suffering from the measles epidemic.
The Government decision to reject the request was announced by the NCC Chairman and Rev. Catechist Kasiano Leaupepe and General Secretary Rev. Ma’auga Motu to Newsline Samoa.
“Government wanted the NCC to take their call to the country through the media, for the country to dedicate all prayers this coming Sunday to protection from the measles epidemic” General Secretary Rev. Ma’auga disclosed.
The NCC delegation approached the Government on Tuesday and the request was taken up with Cabinet in their meeting on Wednesday.
Cabinet denied the request on the understanding that a national week of fasting and praying is held at the beginning of every year and it carries over for the rest of the year.
The NCC Chairman Rev. Kasiano Leaupepe, was disappointed with the Government negative reaction.
“I am not happy with the decision,” Rev. Leaupepe said.
“As NCC Chairman I believe they should have agreed with our request. I think the Government believed the vaccination injections are enough.”
He called on all the leaders of the churches in Samoa to stand together in prayer.
“The power of our prayers raised together in unison has to power to cleanse the whole of Samoa of the measles virus next week.”
As of yesterday the updated count on the number of measles related deaths is up to 39 or 6 more added to the death toll within 24 hours.
The Ministry of Health confirms a total of 2,936measles cases since the outbreak started. There were 250 recorded in the last 24 hours.
There are currently 190 measles cases who are in-patients at all health facilities. Of this, 156 are at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital (TTMH), 2 at Poutasi District Hospital, 1 at Lalomanu District Hospital, 24 at the Leulumoega Rural District Hospital, 4 at the Malietoa Tanumafili II Hospital (MTIIH), 1 at Foailalo District Hospital and 2 at Sataua District Hospital. Admissions include 21 critically ill children in ICU/HDU and 4 pregnant women at TTMH.
The total number of measles cases admitted to all hospitals recorded for the outbreak to date is 849. Of that, 620 patients have been discharged.
A total of 32,743 vaccinations were completed before the Mass Vaccination Campaign. Of these, the age groups are outlined below:
➢ 6months to 4 years – 4222
➢ 5 to 19 years – 14,145
➢ 20 to 39 years – 9,283
➢ 40-49 years – 3058
➢ 50+ - 2035
Since the activation of the Mass Vaccination Campaign on 20 November 2019, the Ministry has successfully vaccinated 44,907 individuals, of that 34,456 were vaccinated in Upolu and 10,451 in Savaii.