New Delhi: Samoa sealed its borders on Friday as the Pacific island nation recorded the first Covid-19 case in the community.
The first case in the country was detected earlier on Thursday on the main island of Upolu.
Samoa’s Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said the case involved a 29-year-old woman, who was found to be positive in tests ahead of a flight to Fiji, reported Al Jazeera.
The Prime Minister in a national address late on Thursday ordered a four-day national lockdown as the concerned authorities tracked the woman’s movements.
“All schools will remain closed, including public gatherings, churches and other services except for essential services,” she said.
In tune with the same, the government issued an emergency order announcing suspension of all international travel by air and sea in the wake of the positive case.
To ensure there is no surge in Covid-19 cases, the people in the island nation were also required to wear masks and use vaccination cards from midnight on Friday.
Asserting the emergence of the virus was inevitable, John Fala, who runs a logistics company in Samoa, said: “We’ve had two years to prepare.”
“Now it’s finally here. Of course, there is going to be a bit of scrambling,” he added.
A government report leaked online indicated
The woman, who tested positive for the virus, had taken part in church services, as per a government report leaked online.
She had also visited places, including a hospital, a library and a travel agency, since she first began to feel ill last Saturday.
Meanwhile, the people in Samoa are panic-shopping and there are long lines for money transfer businesses in the hours before the nation goes into level 3 lockdown at midnight.
The commercial banks closed early this afternoon.
The churches in the island nation are closed from midnight and public gatherings are prohibited.
Around 90 percent of Samoa’s population, as per the government data, is fully vaccinated against Covid-19.