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  • By Pacific island Times News Staff

Health ministry reports 3 suspected Covid-19 cases in FSM

The Federated States of Micronesia on Thursday reported three persons under investigation--one in Pohnpei and two in Yap-- who are all in isolation and being treated for their symptoms.

Specimen from the PUI in Pohnpei was being prepared for shipment on March 17 to the Guam Public Health Laboratory for confirmatory testing, according to FSM Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. Specimens from the two PUIs in Yap will be shipped to Guam early Wednesday morning.

As of this writing, no details were available as to where the PUis might have traveled.

"The FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs, in close collaboration with Yap and Pohnpei Department of Health Services, will keep the general public informed on the status of the 3 PUIs as well as when any future PUIs are detected and reported," the ministry said.

There are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in FSM, but health officials are calling on FSM citizens, who were on the same flight as the Covid-19 infected Guam residents, to either stay home or call the health department for checkup.

Two of the first three Covid-19 cases on Guam previously traveled to the Philippines, where the number of cases has risen to 187, with 12 deaths. The residents and came back to Guam on Feb. 29 (not March 2 as earlier reported) via United Airlines Flight UA189.

On Wednesday, the government of Guam reported two more cases, bringing to the five the total number of patients positive for coronavirus.

"We are enhancing surveillance at our airports, seaports, healthcare facilities and in our communities. The FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs is working closely with all States Department of Health Services, private hospital and clinics to be ready to detect and respond if additional PUIs are identified," the health agency said.

"As part of our preparedness and readiness efforts for Covid 19, and with support of the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our development Partners we are enhancing our capacities for surveillance and early detection, quarantine, isolation, infection control, case management, contact tracing, lab testing, and risk communication. At the same time, we are finalizing our respective contingency plans for effective and coordinated response for Covid-19 across the FSM states."

FSM officials said the national and states Covid-19 Task Force are also working closely with village communities to help prevent the importation and spread of Covid-19 in FSM.

"We will continue to work closely with WHO, CDC, partners and other countries in the region to share information and advice as part of our comprehensive response in FSM and across the region," the FSM government said.

While Covid-19 is circulating in the Pacific islands region, FSM officials reiterated their call for the public "to remain calm, stay alert for signs and symptoms, continue practising good hand and cough hygiene, and avoid large crowds, social gatherings, and meetings to help protect ourselves and our families from COVID-19 and prevent its spread to others."

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