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FSM National & Pohnpei State Governments’ Medical Teams Jointly Report: the COVID-19 Case Onboard the MV Chief Mailo is Historical & Non-Infectious; FSM Asks WHO to Remove Nation from List of COVID-19 Affected Countries
PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On January 27th, 2021, His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), received a joint report prepared by the lead medical and public health team members from the FSM National and Pohnpei State Governments responsible for the repatriation and clearance of MV Chief Mailo, which summarized the clinical history of the MV Chief Mailo and its crew from July 2020 until January 22nd, 2021, and formally and jointly concluded that the confirmed case of COVID-19 discovered on January 7th, 2021 is historical, not sick and infectious, and does not pose any threat to the public for COVID-19. Citizens interested in reading the joint report may find it here: https://gov.fm/files/January_27_2021-Joint_Report_on_Chief_Mailo_Repatriation.pdf
The Honorable Livingston A. Taulung, Secretary of the Department of Health & Social Affairs, summarized the report and what it means for the Government’s immediate next steps. “The medical team adhered to [FSM National], as well as Pohnpei’s, protocols to ensure that the COVID-19 virus does not reach our shore and that the public is safe,” Secretary Taulung wrote. “Based on the results of the tests, the clinical presentation of the crew…and the history of the crew and the ship…the team concluded that the positive case is a historical and non-infectious case, and the crew of Chief Mailo does not pose any threat to the public for COVID-19, and should be cleared from isolation and quarantine.”
“Your Department of Health & Social Affairs will use this technical report to collaborate with [the World Health Organization] to remove the FSM from the list of COVID-19 affected countries/areas,” Secretary Taulung continued. “[Meanwhile], Pohnpei State is now ready to administer the first dose of vaccine to the crew of Chief Mailo.”
It is the intention of the FSM National Government that the crew of the MV Chief Mailo, in their capacity as frontline responders, will soon receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Per the joint report’s conclusions, it is the intention of the FSM National Government to seek its removal from the list of COVID-19 affected countries and areas.
The FSM and Pohnpei medical teams concluded that “the ‘case’ can be safely released from isolation. The remainder of the crew and the one passenger have completed quarantine requirements and pose no threat to the community.” After the crew of the MV Chief Mailo complete their formal quarantine period they will be cleared for disembarkation.
At approximately the same time that the joint report reached President Panuelo’s desk, an additional shipment of approximately 9,800 COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the FSM’s States of Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae; the State of Yap will receive additional vaccine on January 28th. As of January 27th, 2021, more than 3,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the FSM, and the bulk of the Nation’s frontline responders have received their first dose. Elderly citizens and citizens with diabetes, high blood pressure, or other comorbidities, are encouraged to contact their State Government’s public health office for information on how to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
As of January 28th, 2021, the FSM considers itself to be COVID-19 free once more. This status will become official pending the World Health Organization’s review. The letter Secretary Taulung sent to the WHO may be found here: https://gov.fm/files/Jan_27_2021_DHSA_Letter_Request_to_remove_COVID_Affected_Status.pdf