The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs and Assistant Secretary announced the approval of $1.53 million in Compact of Free Association and CARES Act funding to help build several quarantine buildings in Kosrae.
“We are glad to see that construction has begun on new buildings to be used in Kosrae State for quarantine and isolation purposes during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic,” DOI Assistant Secretary Doug Domenech said.
Kosrae, one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia, remains Covid-free and its border has been closed since FSM President David Panuelo declared a public health emergency in March.
FSM is currently preparing for the arrival of the first batch of citizens and diplomats stranded on Guam, Marshall Islands and Hawaii while in on their way back home.
“This important support provided by the Compact and the CARES Act will help Kosrae isolate and address potential Covid-19 cases, thereby reducing the potential for community transmission of the disease as repatriations and the relaxing of travel restrictions are considered,” Domenech said.
In March, the FSM government restricted travel due to the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic and, to date, the FSM has no reported cases of the coronavirus. The U.S. government has been providing ongoing support and assistance to the FSM and the other freely associated states to help address the pandemic.
Certain economic assistance provisions under the Compact of Free Association agreement between the FSM and the United States are set to expire in 2023. Bilateral discussions are underway related to the expiring provisions.