Prior to COVID-19 Readiness Assessments & Exercises, Secretary Taulung Pays Courtesy Call on Governor Sigrah & Speaker Palik; “I hope your presence here can reassure our people to downplay the fear factor in this situation we’re in,” Speaker Palik says

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Prior to COVID-19 Readiness Assessments & Exercises, Secretary Taulung Pays Courtesy Call on Governor Sigrah & Speaker Palik; “I hope your presence here can reassure our people to downplay the fear factor in this situation we’re in,” Speaker Palik says

TOFOL, Kosrae—On July 13th, 2020, the Honorable Livingston A. Taulung, Secretary of the Department of Health & Social Affairs and Chair of the Federated States of Micronesia’s (FSM) COVID-19 Task Force, paid a courtesy call on the Honorable Carson K. Sigrah, Governor of the State of Kosrae, the Honorable Arthy G. Nena, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Kosrae, and the Honorable Tulensa W. Palik, Speaker of the State of Kosrae’s Legislature. The purpose of the meeting was to brief the Governor and Speaker on the FSM COVID-19 Task Force’s arrival into Kosrae via the FSS Palikir to conduct readiness assessment exercises in preparation for the State’s repatriation of its residents.

 

The meeting began with Secretary Taulung relaying the FSM COVID-19 Task Force’s schedule.

 

On Monday, July 13th the FSM COVID-19 Task Force conducted assessments on Kosrae’s points of entry, as well as its quarantine and medical isolation sites.

 

On Tuesday, July 14th the FSM COVID-19 Task Force conducted a joint tabletop exercise with Kosrae’s COVID-19 Task Force to roleplay how the State would respond in the event an international commercial carrier arrived in Kosrae for the purpose of repatriating FSM citizens. On Wednesday, July 15th the FSM COVID-19 Task Force will conduct a joint simulation exercise—a live version of the tabletop experience the day beforehand.

 

Thursday, July 16th and Friday, July 17th, are primarily dedicated to debriefing, action planning, and contact tracing training. The week will conclude with a summary report to the Kosrae State Government. Citizens may expect a Press Release with the same information, indicating the outcomes of the readiness assessments and exercises.

 

“Mr. Secretary,” Governor Sigrah said in his remarks, “our only desire is to get some helpful feedback from the team regarding our readiness level and what else we need to do to prepare for the receipt of the stranded citizens.” Governor Sigrah emphasized that Kosrae conducted a walkthrough exercise on its own the previous week and that he signed off on the State’s seaport and airport guidelines “to make it official” for the FSM COVID-19 Task Force’s visit.

 

“I hope your presence here can reassure our people to downplay the fear factor,” Speaker Palik said in his remarks. “I hope, with your presence here, we can assess what we have [and determine what else needs to be done to] get ourselves ready.”

 

“Our real preparedness and readiness are at stake here,” the Honorable Bob Skilling, Director of Kosrae Health Services, said in his remarks. The Director noted that Kosrae is keen to repatriate its residents stranded abroad but only if it is as safe as possible to do so, including ensuring all repatriating residents have received a COVID-19 test prior to arrival.

 

Secretary Taulung assured Director Skilling that the FSM will require COVID-19 tests for all repatriating citizens, which the National Government will pay for through its relationships with external medical providers such as Guam Regional Medical City.

 

Prior to the readiness exercises in Kosrae State, the 21st FSM Congress enacted Congressional Resolution 21-175, which amends the Public Health Emergency Declaration by His Excellency David W. Panuelo. The only significant difference for FSM citizens is that the travel restrictions have been extended to September 30th, 2020. The Resolution may be found here: http://cfsm.gov.fm/ifile/21%20congress/RESOLUTIONS/CR_21-175.pdf


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