Tofol, Kosrae — Although the date has not been set, Kosrae may soon be ready to reopen for repatriating residents who are stranded abroad, local officials said, noting that significant progress has been made toward improving the state’s capacity.
“I think you can open soon, and it will be your decision when,” Health and Social Affairs Secretary Livingston A. Taulung told Kosrae Gov. Carson K. Sigrah during a Covid task force meeting. “Many of the biggest gaps identified last week have either been addressed or are actively being addressed by your team.”
Upon the state government's request, the Federated States of Micronesia’s Covid-19 Task Force extended its stay in Kosrae from July 18 to 22 to assist in additional readiness and simulation exercises to help prepare the state for the repatriation of its residents.
"Among the tasks completed included contact tracing workshops, community empowerment exercises, and several simulation exercises," the FSM Information Office said.
The point of entry has seen “a lot of improvements,” said Ben Jackson Amor. “Prior to the screening, the queuing passengers would wash their hands before going to the screening area. Along with that, the signage posted in the screening area is a big plus.”
The traffic cones previously used to designate social distancing markers have been replaced with colored tape, ensuring that social distancing is maintained regardless of any troublesome weather.
Another strength at the point of entry was the successful use of the Incident Command Structure, which is functionally a phone-tree to ensure successful communications between the various attending parties.
Of the gaps still identified at the point of entry, one of them included that a passenger—a person under investigation —was in full physical contact with a police officer. The police officer was wearing a mask and gloves, but if physical contact occurs there should also be a gown and faceshield.