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  • Writer's pictureBy Bea Cabrera

CNMI fighting the new wave of Covid

Saipan-- Nine additional individuals have been confirmed positive for Covid-19. This brings the CNMI total to 369 cases since March 28, 2020.

The individuals were identified and confirmed through travel testing and surveillance testing on Nov. 8. The individuals have been isolated and are actively monitored.

After over a year of not having Covid-19 community spread, CNMI is now experiencing a series of community infections that originated from surveillance testing conducted on Oct. 28 among faculty and students of the CNMI Public School System.

From this test, three persons with Covid-19 were spotted and 10 other persons were identified through contact tracing.

Since Oct. 28, 2021, there have been 78 new cases, of which 60 were identified via contact tracing, 11 were identified via community testing, and seven were identified via travel testing.

To date, CNMI has a total of 369 Covid-19 cases since March 28, 2020, eight days after the World Health Organization declared the spread of the Covid-19 virus worldwide a pandemic.

What was once dominated by results from travel screening, the root cause of the cases is being now shared with community-based testing results and contact tracing.

Part of the Covid-19 Task Force is the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Communicable Disease investigation and inspection team are in charge of tracking close contact and exposure, identifying and monitoring people who may have had contact with an infectious person.

The last community spread was case number 50 in August 2020 and the person was identified through a mandatory pre-operation screening for scheduled surgery.

In a press release, Gov. Ralph Torres remains to put his confidence in the CNMI Covid-19 Task Force's ability to trace and control the spread of Covid-19 in the CNMI.

“We encourage the unvaccinated to get vaccinated and for our residents to take advantage of our community-based testing. We will work to provide care for the individuals who have tested positive, and we must continue to look out for one another as one community.”

He added that the CNMI is equipped with the tools to contain the community spread as has been successfully done by the task force and partners from PSS and Board of Education.

This was echoed by CHCC CEO Esther Muna who also appealed to the unvaccinated residents in the CNMI. “We need your help in protecting our children and those who are not able to receive the vaccine. Our community is resilient but community looks out for each other,” she said.

CNMI has 84 percent vaccination rate which puts 16.5 percent or 10,000 residents unprotected from COVID19.

Since March last year, three deaths caused by the virus have been reported.


A local doctor who requested anonymity said that people should expand their perspective about the virus. “The way that people should see this is that at some point, we will all get the virus. There is no escaping it. But if you have the vaccine in your system, its effects in your body will not be as severe compared to an unvaccinated person. Hospitalization and possibility of death will not occur,” he said.

“Covid-19 vaccines work…CHCC has been great in rolling out the vaccines in the CNMI. For example, the vaccines for children ages five to 11 arrived Tuesday last week and then Saturday, they were already rolling it out to the community. This ensures that we may be experiencing a community surge now but since 80 percent of us and by the way, this number will go up since we started vaccination among children, the better equipped we are in fighting this virus,” he added.

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