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Samoa declares state of emergency for measles epidemic

November 17, 2019 4:40 pm

The Samoan government has announced a state of emergency as the measles epidemic continues to claim young lives in the country.

1 newsnow reported that there have been nine suspected deaths from the disease – most of them children – with more than 700 cases reported.

All isolation wards are full and the main hospital is at capacity. Many children are in critical condition.

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The state of emergency will include a ban on any mass gatherings and an urgency will be given to vaccinating 100,000 people.

It will most impact on government processes in order to fast-track and remove red tape, prioritizing budgets dealing with the measles epidemic.

It comes as another child died in Samoa overnight from the illness, pushing up the death toll.

Meanwhile, New Zealand is sending 3000 MMR vaccines and 12 nurses to help administer them.

Nurses will start arriving on Wednesday and will work in rotation to cover tired staff.

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