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Samoa lifts measles state of emergency

Measles epidemic logo
Source: RNZI

Apia, SAMOA — The state of emergency in Samoa, declared due to the measles epidemic, has ended following a special Cabinet meeting.

At Friday's meeting, Cabinet unanimously approved the cancellation of the State of Emergency Orders in place.

In its decision, Cabinet has approved the State of Recovery for Samoa to commence immediately.

For the Recovery Phase, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are tasked with the preparations of the Recovery Plan to be tabled for Cabinet's consideration in two weeks from today.

Cabinet has also instructed that all works which were centralised and conducted by the National Emergency Operation Center, during the crisis are to be referred to the Health Emergency Operation Center for continuation.

And finally, the Public Appeal supported by the United Nations will continue with the UN's Resident Coordinator working together in close collaboration.

No new measles deaths in past 24 hours

Samoa's Ministry of Health says the death toll from the measles epidemic in the country remains at 81 with no fatalities in the last 24 hours.

There are 46 measles cases in hospital, nine of that number are critically ill children; another critical patient is a pregnant woman.

It said twenty-one measles cases were recorded in the last 24 hours.

The Ministry confirms that 5,655 measles cases have been reported to the Disease Surveillance Team, since the outbreak started.

The total number of measles cases admitted to all hospitals recorded for the outbreak to date is 1,844. Of that, 1,717 patients have been discharged.

The Ministry said as of December 27, 2019, approximately 95 percent of all eligible people in Samoa have been vaccinated against measles.