“It’s very, very quiet out here. I can just hear a few barking dogs. The streets are empty. There are no cars,” Sheldon Yett, UNICEF’s Pacific islands chief, told AFP. “People are staying at home waiting for the vaccination campaign. The teams are getting their supplies together and getting ready to go out.”
The government recorded a total of 165 cases in the last 24 hours on Thursday, two of which joined the death toll. Of the deceased, 54 were children aged 4 and below.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said that the vaccine drive was unprecedented in the history of the nation, which currently has a population of about 200,000.
“They seem to take a kind of lackadaisical attitude to all the warnings that we had issued through the television and also through the radio,” he said of the population, according to the Associated Press.
Some also resort to seeking help from traditional healers, who happen to have helped treat common diseases in the country for thousands of years.
“Some of our people pay a visit to traditional healers thinking that measles is a typical tropical disease, which it is not,” the prime minister added.
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.