Health: Micronesia loses Covid-free status

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HealthMicronesia loses Covid-free status

Two students from the capital island of Pohnpei tested positive after arriving on the island of Kos.

A traditional warrior (left) presents kava to the head of state of the Federated States of Micronesia, David Panulo, during traditional welcoming ceremonies at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Suva on July 12, 2022.

A traditional warrior (left) presents kava to the head of state of the Federated States of Micronesia, David Panulo, during traditional welcoming ceremonies at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Suva on July 12, 2022.

AFP

Micronesia, a small state in the Pacific, has become one of the few countries without Covid after two of its islands confirmed cases. Except for a few isolated and isolated border cases, the Federated States of Micronesia have largely escaped the Covid pandemic due to their geographic location, about 1600 kilometers north of Papua New Guinea. But two students from Micronesia’s capital island of Pohnpei tested positive after arriving on the island of Kosrae earlier this week.

Wearing a mask is recommended

Local health officials later confirmed ten positive cases among eleven family members of the students. According to a statement released by the government on Tuesday, Micronesia is facing a “rapidly changing situation” and dozens of additional cases have been confirmed in Kozrey and Pohnpei. The local health authority discouraged public gatherings and advised wearing masks, while noting that “all public services will remain open”. Subsequent tests indicated that 25 of 28 patients with flu-like symptoms at a hospital in Kozrey tested positive for Covid.

Two countries are still saved

As a result, the Micronesian island of Yap, located 2,250 km west of Pohnpei, declared a quarantine immediately upon arrival of the passengers and crew of the local ship on Tuesday. Following the outbreak of the coronavirus in Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu may be the last two Pacific countries not affected by Covid. Micronesia plans to lift border health restrictions from August 1, provided visitors are fully vaccinated and show a negative test result.

When announcing the measures last May, Micronesian President David Banuelo said he hoped opening the borders would encourage vaccination of the 100,000 residents of the country spread across more than 600 islands.

(AFP)

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