The Pacific island nation of Samoa records its first case of the virus.
A sailor who returned to Samoa on a repatriation flight from New Zealand has tested positive for the coronavirus, the first known case in Samoa, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi announced on Thursday.
Though a second test to confirm the first came back negative, the man and his roommate have been placed in a hospital isolation ward in Apia, the capital of the Pacific island nation, Mr. Tuilaepa said. The sailor had returned to Samoa on Friday with 300 other people, about 25 of whom were sailors who had also been stranded at overseas ports, according to local news media reports.
In an address, Mr. Tuilaepa urged the public not to panic. “Let us keep the faith and wear masks and wash our hands as advised,” he said.
The country has begun contact tracing, including with airport workers who had handled the plane’s arrival last week.
Samoa was among the few countries worldwide with no confirmed cases of the virus, many of which are also island nations in the Pacific. Vanuatu, about 1,400 miles west of Samoa, recorded its first coronavirus case this month.
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