Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo today announced his goverment is providing financial support in the amount of $300,000 for FSM citizens who are stranded in Guam and Hawaii while in transit on their way back home.
"Our citizens are our obligation, and we are united in our efforts to assist them," Panuelo told members of FSM Congress during his state of the nation address.
A number of travelling FSM citizens were unable to fly back home as a result of the government's closure of its borders to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
While most countries have been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, the FSM remains coronavirus-free.
"It must be said, and with equal parts admiration and respect, that our healthcare, border control, to include surveillance and police, workers at the 12 national and state levels have truly shown their commitment as devoted public servants," Panuelo said. "In the coming days we will be assisting each and every one of our citizens currently stranded in transit abroad in Guam and Hawaii."
Panuelo said he has been having weekly teleconferences with sate governors "to address the needs of our citizens and residents both at home and abroad."
While no concrete date has been set for the return of the stranded citizens, Panuelo said the government has a broad agreement that returning citizens may be required to be tested for Covid19 two days prior to entry into the FSM, to be followed by state-mandated quarantine and isolation procedures.
The president said returning citizens may then be tested a second time prior to departing their quarantine area into the general population. These protocols will be necessary to ensure that our nation remains Covid-19 free, he added.
"In the context of Covid-19, all frontline workers, to include health and border control staff, have received infection control training; we’ve been building quarantine and isolation sites in all four states," Panuelo said, "we’ve implemented risk communication processes, and we’ve acquired the capacity to test for Covid-19. I could not be prouder of our national and state frontline personnel, and I am sure you feel the same way.