Yap preparing for repatriation of the state's stranded residents

The Yap state goverment encourages the island's residents to get their vaccine shots. Photo by Joyce McClure

Colonia, Yap-- A technical team will arrive in Yap on April 28 to assess the state’s level of preparedness to handle Covid-19, focusing on repatriation readiness.

The Yap Department of Health Services and the state’s Covid-19 Taskforce have received confirmation about the team's arrival from the FSM National Covid-19 Taskforce.

The assessment supports “recommendations for repatriation efforts, informs decision-makers, and enables stakeholders to focus their capacity-building efforts based on any gaps, weaknesses, or critical areas for improvement.”

The technical team will evaluate the entire process from disembarkation of passengers from aircraft to screening, quarantine, isolation and release from quarantine of passengers coming from coronavirus-stricken jurisdictions.

The exercise is designed as a practical means to test Yap’s state of preparedness and determine if they are ready to safely bring home citizens who are stranded abroad, or, at a minimum, have the ability to respond and contain any possible importation of the coronavirus.

While more than 300 citizens await repatriation into the FSM, the National Covid Task Force began running simulation and tabletop exercises in June 2020 to prepare for their arrival.

Yap's Covid isolation facility. Photo by Joyce McClore.