FSM Information Services
President Panuelo Meets with Governor Oliver Regarding Repatriation Efforts, Announces Caroline Islands Air Pilot Will Arrive from Kiribati
PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On September 30th, 2020, His Excellency David W. Panuelo—President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)—received the Honorable Reed B. Oliver, Governor of the State of Pohnpei, to collaborate on COVID-19 prevention and repatriation efforts to bring the Nation’s stranded citizens home at such a time when it is safe to do so. While the bulk of the conversation was comprised of reflection on contemporary and historical preparedness, and strategizing on future efforts, arguably the two most substantive updates were with regards to the planned arrival of a new pilot for Caroline Islands Air (CIA) and the planned receipt of containerized isolation rooms.
Citizens may recall President Panuelo advising that CIA, a State-Owned Enterprise fully owned by the FSM National Government and by extension the People of the Nation, would be engaged in domestic flights to transport everything from medical equipment to essential personnel across the States of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae. This plan was hampered due to a shortage of pilots. The President advised Governor Oliver that the FSM National Government has sorted out the necessary procedures to receive a prospective pilot for CIA from the Republic of Kiribati, and once completed CIA ought to become a functional domestic airline once more.
The President also briefed Governor Oliver on the upcoming receipt of containerized isolation rooms, which the Nation expects to receive over the weekend of October 2nd, 2020. These isolation rooms will serve to increase Pohnpei State’s capacity to isolate COVID-19 affected individuals and provide them necessary medical services. It is a priority of the FSM National Government that these thirty (30) portable isolation rooms be distributed throughout the Federation as soon as possible.
Also on September 30th, 2020, the 21st FSM Congress extended the President’s Public Health Emergency Declaration. While the Nation remains COVID-19 free, the Government has not yet given a specific date for the repatriation of FSM citizens stranded abroad.