Administration slammed for lack of clear action to prevent coronavirus outbreak on Guam

Amid global panic over coronavirus, how will Guam handle a possible outbreak on island? The local government’s strategy, if any, is vague and scattered, according to critics.

“I am convinced that the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) is working very closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, the airport and other stakeholders in the community, to ensure that our response is exactly as CDC recommends, and will be implemented smoothly,” Sen. Therese Terlaje said.

However, Terlaje is not confident Guam has a unified plan to protect the island’s point of entry.

She said there is no clarity as to who is taking the lead to ensure that travelers are being screened before they are allowed to board a flight to Guam.

“I still believe that there should be a high-level effort by the governor and our agencies to seek the cooperation of the federal agencies and the airlines to increase screening prior to boarding any airplane headed toward Guam,” Terlaje said. “This remains necessary because the Customs and Quarantine Agency on Guam is going to do the physical screening of temperature and interviews of suspected exposed travelers, which will not apply to all travelers.”

Terlaje said the local government needs to find creative ways to prevent an infected person from landing on Guam.