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Samoa is still open for business.
So says the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA), although in light of the measles crisis, it has warned tourists and visitors to get their immunisations up to date prior to arriving in the country.
“Samoa is still open for business,” STA’s Su’a Hessed Ieremia said.
Asked if the Authority had considered the possibility of Samoa's borders being closed, Su'a responded: “Travellers are welcomed to travel to Samoa as usual, but advised and recommended to check their immunisation status and get immunised if they haven’t before travel.”
In response to the Samoa government declaring a 30-day state of emergency, STA has issued a global reminder that all travellers are immunised to prevent them getting infected with measles when they get to Samoa.
The Authority said travellers who are already in Samoa and are unsure of their immunisation status should visit one of the Ministry of Health's vaccination clinics.
Those who have recently returned to their home countries from Samoa should also report to healthcare providers as soon as possible, if they are experiencing symptoms of measles such as high fever, running nose, cough, red and watery eyes and a rash.
“In response, we recommend the following: all travelers to Samoa to ensure their vaccinations are up to date before travelling,” reads the STA notice.
“If uncertain of your immunisation status, seek the advice of your healthcare providers before travelling.
“Visitors who are already in Samoa and uncertain of immunisation status, visit one of the vaccination clinics including the National Hospitals.
“All travellers who have recently returned from Samoa to report to healthcare providers immediately if experiencing any of these symptoms.”
American Samoa authorities have also rubbished reports last week that it plans to close its border with Samoa.
Currently, Samoans who are planning to travel to the territory are required to carry their immunisation records, as those who are unable to produce them will be turned back, American Samoa Director of Health, Motusa Tuileama Nua, said recently.
The total number of suspected measles cases in Samoa has now risen to 1,174 as the epidemic surges across the nation.
That is an additional 458 cases from last Monday. Another child, a seven-month-old from Savaii, died in the last 24 hours of suspected measles-related complications, bringing the death toll to 17.
Vaccinations are available at five new locations from Wednesday: The Samoa Tourism Authority Fale, Myna’s Old Supermarket in Vaoala, Manuleleua Lauese in Vaimoso, Fale Komiti in Lepea, and the Catholic Church in Moamoa.
SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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