Samoa reports first COVID-19 case with mixed testing results

File Photo: Agencies.

SUVA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Samoa reported on Thursday its first COVID-19 case, a sailor who arrived in the island nation on a repatriation flight from Auckland, New Zealand last Friday, with mixed testing results.

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi announced in a press conference early Thursday that the man in a quarantine facility tested positive for the virus on Wednesday night, but a second test on Thursday morning had returned a negative result.

The man has been isolated at Tupua Tamasese Motootua hospital in the capital city of Apia.

"After four days in quarantine, tests were conducted and a sailor was tested positive and he was immediately isolated, as per usual procedures and the police are stationed there for safety reasons," the prime minister said.

"A second test was conducted at 6:00 a.m. local time (Thursday) and it came out negative and these things happen, hence the press conference to inform the public over this matter."

Tuilaepa urged people to keep calm and to heed advisories from the National Emergency Operations Center and the Ministry of Health.

He made it clear that Samoa would not take any chances as the man could transmit the coronavirus to others.

The prime minister said that the cabinet will meet Thursday afternoon to discuss further safety measures and review the planned repatriation flight from Los Angeles, the United States next Friday.

All together 17 Samoan sailors arrived on the flight last Friday and have been in quarantine with nearly 300 passengers.

Samoa is currently under a state of emergency which has been extended until Dec. 23 this year.