The nation of Samoa will begin a 48-hour lockdown from 6 p.m. Saturday.
The announcement comes after five passengers from an incoming flight from Brisbane, Australia, tested positive for Covid-19.
Ten passengers from the same flight tested positive earlier in the week, prompting Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa’s declaration of a state of emergency on Saturday to continue until 6 p.m. Monday (Samoa time).
Samoa’s five new cases will join the 10 earlier cases — who tested positive on arrival on Wednesday — in managed quarantine at Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital, in the capital, Apia, the Samoa Observer reported.
Nine close contacts of the initial 10 cases are also in isolation.
The south Pacific nation of just under 200,000 people had its first case on Nov. 21 last year.
Before the recent inbound Australian flight, which was carrying 73 passengers, there had been three cases in total and no deaths.
“The measures are not intended to cause panic but to ensure safety,” Fiame said in her address, asking for prayers for the safety of the nation.
All cases arriving from Brisbane had tested negative prior to leaving Australia.
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