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FSM's Covid death toll rises to 18

Pohnpei public gym is designated as a test & treatment site. Photo courtesy of Pohnpei State Enginkehlap

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The Federated States of Micronesia has reported 18 Covid-related deaths, as the country's cumulative cases since January have increased to 7,125.

The FSM government reported that Vice President Yosiwo P. George remains in the hospital, where he is receiving "nutritional assistance through a tube as he is not able to eat or drink."

"Other officials familiar with the vice president's health status describe deep worry for his condition and suggest that it is worsening. One official described concerns that the vice president, who wishes to travel to Kosrae so as to be with his family, may not be able to do so in the near future," the government said.

President David W. Panuelo has signed new guidelines for the implementation of the Healthy Border Protection Act, which restricts the movement of people entering the FSM.

Under the set of guidelines that was signed on Aug. 8, people entering the FSM are required to stay home and wear masks for five days.

Any person traveling to the FSM is required to be tested negative by PCR within 72 hours prior to entry.

A traveler who tested positive for Covid-19 due to past infection within the past 90 days, the person may enter FSM if the following criteria are met: "Evidence of positive PCR test result with a CT value of 34 or higher is provided with a medical report from a certified physician indicating their infectivity status or other documentation of recovery from Covid-19."

If community transmission is evident in all four states, a negative antigen test within 72 hours will be accepted for entry in the FSM.

Currently, only Pohnpei and Kosrae have reported community transmissions.

Mandatory requirements for the vaccination of children under five are waived for travel to any FSM state. All persons traveling to Pohnpei and Kosrae do not need a Covid-19 test.

The Department of Transportation, Communications & Infrastructure canceled a flight with 139 passengers scheduled for Aug. 22.

The flight cancelation was in response to the request from Chuuk Gov. Alexander R. Narruhn, who noted that the state does not have the capacity to receive additional people. The Chuuk hospital is currently under renovation and is expected to be completed by November.

“FSM government officials advised that they are engaged in an ongoing conversation with the Chuuk state government regarding proposed flight dates for Chuuk in September and October,” the FSM government said.

On July 30, CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres pledged 25,000 Covid-19 testing kits, as well as personal protective equipment such as gowns, gloves, face masks, and hand sanitizers to the FSM.

“I am glad that we are able to assist our brothers and sisters in FSM with these test kits and PPE. Covid-19 has greatly impacted our community, as well as communities around the world, and it is because of this that we understand how critical it is to implement preventative measures and utilize resources throughout a community to mitigate the virus’ spread,” Torres said.

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