“Help, I want to live!” Responses from Hawaii to the UK ending Samoa Measles emergency
Visitors welcome in Samoa after measles crisis
Visitors are again welcome in Samoa, as long as arriving travelers have a certificate of vaccination against measles. Samos lifted their Measles State of Emergency.
Samoa.travel says: “Our warm, friendly culture and breathtaking scenery make Samoa the perfect Pacific island destination for tourism.”
The 2019 Samoa measles outbreak began in September 2019. As of 26 December, there were 5,612 confirmed cases of measles and 81 deaths, out of a Samoan population of 200,874. Over two percent of the population has been infected
Doctors and nurses from around the world, from Hawaii to the U.K. gave up Christmas with friends and family to help save lives in the deadly measles outbreak in the Pacific Island Nation.
A state of emergency was declared on 17 November, ordering the closure of all schools, keeping children under 17 away from public events, and making vaccination mandatory. On 14 December, the state of emergency was extended to the 29 December. Samoan anti-vaccination activist Edwin Tamasese was arrested and charged with “incitement against a government order”.
On 2 December 2019, the government imposed a curfew and canceled all Christmas celebrations and public gatherings. All unvaccinated families have been ordered to display a red flag or cloth in front of their homes to warn others and to aid mass vaccination efforts. Some families added messages like “Help!” or “I want to live!”.
On 5 and 6 December, the government shut down everything other than public utilities to move all civil servants over to the vaccination campaign. This curfew was lifted on 7 December when the government estimated that 90% of the population was reached by the vaccination program. As of 22 December, an estimated 94% of the eligible population had been vaccinated.
Inbound Tourists to Samoa must have proof of measle vaccination.