Schools Ordered Shut Plus Other Firm Restrictions

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  • Hospital scene at TTM Motootua
    Hospital scene at TTM Motootua

All schools around the country are shut ‘forthwith,’ MMR injections are now a legal requirement for the unvaccinated and age group bans are enforced for any public gatherings or visits to any medical facility.

All these are now enforced as legal under the national state of emergency officially declared on Friday by Government, as measures to control the spread of the measles epidemic.

The legal orders came into effect yesterday after it was endorsed by the Member of the Council of Deputies, Le Mamea Ropati Mualia.

The Director General of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, is anticipating an added surge in people crowding into the hospital for vaccination injections, but has confidence in the control plans in place already.

“We have established our target groups with priorities for each one and we will  keep to that, especially the children as the most vulnerable of the groups,” Leausa reacted to phone enquiries by Newsline Samoa last night.

He is not overly worried also at the supply of vaccines they have in stock to cope with the increased demand.

“Right now the MMR vaccines we have are going like water but we are getting in more supplies and with all the control measures we have in place we should  do fine.”

The emergency order has been firm on all schools including the National University of Samoa closing down, effective as of yesterday, Saturday 16 November 2019.

All who are 18 years and under are not allowed into National hospitals and no young person from 17 years down are to be found in any public gathering.

The ORDERS are effectively immediately under Article 106 of the Constitution and they stand as follows:

 (a) that MMR vaccinations for members of the public who have not yet received a vaccination injection, is now a mandatory legal requirement for all of Samoa.  

(b) that the Ministry of Health (through the resolution of the Disaster Advisory and National Advisory Committee) is to publish its program and schedule for the new vaccination program by Monday 18th November.

This must include the confirmation of: 

• Location; • Dates for vaccinations for each Location; • Modes of Transport (where available);  • Age brackets that will be prioritized; • Any other health precautions required for the members of the public.  

(c) that all schools in Samoa including the National University of Samoa (NUS) are closed forthwith, until further notice; and all Government administered examinations that were pending are hereby postponed until further notice.

 (d) that all public gatherings cannot henceforth include the presence of children up to the age of 17.  

(e) that at all National Hospitals, only one (1) family member caregiver can attend to the care of any person who is hospitalized anywhere in Samoa. 

(f) that unless they are requiring medical attention, no child under the age of 18 can attend to any medical facility.  

(g) That the Ministry of Police are ordered to keep the peace, support staff and families of the hospitals, and attend to assisting the National Hospitals to assist with monitoring the visitors.   

(h) All public servants are to attend to their jobs and responsibilities, until any further notice.  

The Orders of State of Emergency are in effect immediately as of today following the endorsement by the Member of the Council of Deputies Afioga Le Mamea Lemalu Su’a Tuiletufuga Leatuavao Ropati Mualia , acting in the absence of the Head of State and after consultation with Cabinet.