'Left nostril tested positive': Country's first virus case produces bizarre results

A country that has managed to avoid coronavirus until last week has reported bizarre and conflicting test results for the first possibly infected patient.

Samoa was among a dwindling handful of nations to have not reported a single case of the virus, while other countries have had hundreds of thousands of deaths and many more infections.

A sailor who flew to the Pacific nation from New Zealand on Friday, November 13, was tested in both nostrils and found to have a different result from each nostril.

FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2010, file photo, Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi addresses a summit at the United Nations headquarters. On Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, Malielegaoi addressed the nation live on television and radio and appealed for calm after the country reported it’s first positive test for the coronavirus, although a second test on the same patient returned a negative result. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has urged his nation to remain calm amidst the uncertainty of the tests. Source: AP/FILE

"The sailor on his left nostril tested positive and on his right one tested negative,” Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said at a press conference on Tuesday, according to the Samoa Observer.

“Samoa will continue as normal with current restrictions imposed with faith in God.”

Test samples sent to New Zealand could not provide further clarity on the results, according to Radio NZ.

The sailor has reportedly been staying in a quarantine facility since arriving in Samoa.

Addressing the nation live on television and radio last week, Mr Malielegaoi urged people to stay calm and remain vigilant with their virus precautions.

A landscape photo of a beach in Samoa, with blue skies and palm trees lining a sandy beach amd clear water.
Samoa is one of the few countries in the world that has remained Covid free. Source: Getty/File

He also said the Cabinet would meet on Thursday to decide on any changes to the current virus procedures, the Observer reported.

Blood work samples from the patient are currently being looked at in New Zealand, with more results expected to be released next Monday, Radio NZ said.

Samoa is home to about 200,000 people.

- with AAP

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