NZ Deputy PM Adds Mystery To Measles Epidemic

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  • Visiting NZ Deputy PM Winston Peters in a joint press conference with his Samoan host, PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi
    Visiting NZ Deputy PM Winston Peters in a joint press conference with his Samoan host, PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

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 New Zealand leader made a special visit to Samoa to check up on the progress of the epidemic emergency campaign that appears to have slowed down noticeable in the last few days.

In the joint media conference with the PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Peters cautioned against the accusing fingers that are pointed at his country.

“I was a lawyer before I became a politician and when you make an allegation you better be able to join all the dots up.

“When you land you are landing on the truth and we are far too soon in this process to be able to afford such a statement.”

Serious forensic work are required and still it maybe impossible to answer, according to the deputy Prime Minister.

The mystery appears to deepen with the Prime Minister Tuilaepa announcing overseas pathologists who are being rushed in, to undertake postmortem on the bodies of a group of babies kept at the TTM Mortuary, Moto’otua.

“Doctors wanted to determine the cause of death, whether it was from the measles or another unknown disease,” Tuilaepa happily announced.

The relief showed up in a smiling Prime Minister, who was under pressure from grieving parents who were prevented from taking their children home to be buried. (see other story.)

Deputy PM Peters called in at the Leulumoega Health centre on his way from Faleolo International Airport to visit with the New Zealand medical team based there.

Peters said he and his team wanted to have a look at what is going on by talking to the medical staff to try and grasp whether they need any other resources.

 “From what we saw it was very inspiring to see people dealing with a tragedy like that, they must have had some tragic weeks when they were dealing with impossible people where people were virtually dead on arrival.

“We were very inspired by their zeal, vision and compassion and it is cause for us to go back and report to our Government that money is being seriously well spent.”

 Peter assured the ongoing support of specialised medical teams sent on a rotational arrangement as ‘ part and parcel ‘ of the New Zealand help in the fight against the measles outbreak.”