US to send doctors to FSM; repatriation of stranded Micronesians set for May 13

Traveling Micronesians were among the passengers stranded at the Guam International Airport when many countries shut down their borders at the onset of Covid-19 outbreak in 2020. File photo by the Pacific Island Times News Staff

Palikir, Pohnpei — Micronesian citizens and foreign diplomats who have been stranded abroad for more than a year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic may finally be able to fly back home on May 13, according to the Federated States of Micronesia government.

Officials said the U.S. government has granted FSM's request for assistance to get a humanitarian flight for Micronesians stranded on Guam, Palau and Marshall Islands.

FSP President David Panuelo

“We are committed to May 13th as our first repatriation activity from a Covid-19 affected jurisdiction,” FSM President David Panuelo said.

The U.S. government has offered to provide FSM with medical capacity-building personnel.

Doctors with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the U.S. Department of Defense will arrive in FSM to provide assistance during the nation’s initial repatriation efforts and to build medical capacity within the FSM. The date of their arrival has yet to be announced.