Coronavirus: 8 Samoans And 11 Other Foreign Nationals Under Self-Quarantine In Nadi

Samoan nationals were denied entry to Samoa and sent back to Fiji via Fiji Airways.
12 Feb 2020 10:08
Coronavirus: 8 Samoans And 11 Other Foreign Nationals Under Self-Quarantine In Nadi
Relevant authorities have put in place necessary measures to address the global concern for the spread of coronavirus reaching Fiji. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Eight Samoan nationals and 11 foreigners are currently in self-quarantine in Nadi after they were refused entry into Samoa on Sunday and sent back to Fiji via Fiji Airways.

The Samoan nationals had returned from India through Singapore after undergoing medical treatment at the Apollo and Fortis Hospitals, while the 11 foreigners had either travelled from Mainland China or transited through one of the six countries listed in the Samoan travel advisory.

Countries that are listed under Samoa’s coronavirus Border Security Travel Advisory are Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan and Thailand.

It is understood that they are at the Grand Melanesian Hotel in Nadi for 14-days under precautionary measures.

Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Bernadette Welch has confirmed that the 19 currently under self-quarantine do not pose any threat of the novel coronavirus in Fiji.

She said they had undergone all necessary health checks at the Nadi International Airport and have been cleared of the virus.

“They are awaiting the 14-days of self-quarantine to finish and will be travelling to Samoa,” Ms Welch said.

Chief executive of Samoa’s Ministry of Health, Dr Take Naseri, said in a press release sent on Monday night that necessary arrangements were made with Apollo and Fortis Hospital officials in Fiji to provide any assistance for the Samoans, in case they needed medical attention.

“We will continue to monitor the patients’ situation from here. An open line of communication is now established with Apollo and Fortis representatives in Fiji,” Dr Naseri said.

“And they are fully aware of the situation and they have contacted their respective hospitals in India.”

He said it may have been possible that the patients were not informed that Singapore was included in the list of high-risk countries because their flight may have already left when the Travel Advisory was last updated on Friday evening.

A Fiji Airways spokesperson said the final admittance of travellers into a country is the prerogative of the country’s border control officials.

“Fiji Airways respects the decision of authorities and as practice, returns travellers denied entry into their country to their point of embarkation,” the spokesperson said.

“Fiji Airways follows the travel restrictions issued by countries it operates to, and like all airlines, refers to the Travel Information Manual Automatic database, before uplifting passengers. This is done for every flight.”

He also said the airline had taken a number of measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak and was working with Fiji’s Ministry of Health and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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