Attached is the COVID-19 update report for July 30th, 2022. Please disseminate where appropriate and in local language when possible.
We're still in the process of fine-tuning these reports for readability and accessibility. With the interest of simply getting you the information quickly, and in a digestible fashion, I'm including some notes below on how to interpret the attached report.
First--the cases from Chuuk and Yap are reflective of previous repatriation flights. All of those cases were border cases, found and isolated in quarantine. Both Yap and Chuuk remain COVID-19 free in their communities.
Second--the term "hospitalization" in the attached report means "a person is positive for COVID-19 and is presently under medical care at a state or private hospital." This is the census number for all individuals in the hospital.
Third--the term "recovered" in the attached report means "a person who WAS under medical care at a state or private hospital is no longer positive for COVID-19 and has left the hospital's care." This is a cumulative number.
We intend to fine-tune the daily COVID-19 sitreps to the point where the above notes aren't necessary--but, for now, our belief is that the above clarifications may be valuable to you.
Below are additional updates for today, July 30th, 2022.
Two additional deaths were reported today, one in Pohnpei State and one in Kosrae State. I continue to remain unable to obtain the vaccination status and health profiles of hospitalized patients and deceased persons. I continue to be advised that officials at the FSM Government, Pohnpei State Government, and Kosrae State Government have similar difficulty.
President David W. Panuelo signed the regulations for Public Law 22-134 i.e. the Healthy Border Protection Act this afternoon. They are also attached to this email, one representing the regulation as it relates to the Department of Justice
(https://gov.fm/files/Healthy_Border_Protection_Act_Regulation_DOJ_SIGNED.pd) fand one as it relates to the Department of Health & Social Affairs. (https://gov.fm/files/Healthy_Border_Protection_Act_Regulation_DHSA_SIGNED.pdf
President David W. Panuelo received a request, in the form of a Joint Resolution, from Chuuk State's Legislative Branch (both its House of Representatives and its House of Senate), to limit the number of flights to Chuuk State to twice per month until October 31st, 2022, as well as to limit the number of persons who disembark into Chuuk so that returning persons can be quarantined. Chuuk State Government officials describe that their goals include to finish renovating their hospital; to complete the development of Test & Treatment sites; and to fully vaccinate vulnerable and/or at-risk population groups. Officials describe that the outbreak in Pohnpei and Kosrae has strengthened their resolve to keep Chuuk COVID-19 free until the Chuuk State Government believes it is prepared for a public health disaster to be immediately forthcoming. Officials describe that Senators in the FSM Congress representing Chuuk State were present for the discussions and deliberations that lead to the decision, in addition to mayors and traditional leaders. One official described that he had never seen Chuuk State so unified in anything until last night's discussions. Another official described that Chuuk State would welcome receipt of additional medicines, personal protection equipment, and manpower, when community transmission begins.
Prior to receipt of the Joint Resolution, but after learning it was forthcoming, President David W. Panuelo held a meeting with his Cabinet to again discuss Chuuk State's request, equally mindful that the law must be upheld while also soberingly cognizant that community transmission of COVID-19 in Chuuk State represents unique challenges. I am not yet aware of the FSM Government's intended response to the Joint Resolution, if any. I can confirm that the Joint Resolution is being thoroughly discussed.
The passengers of the MV Hapilmohol-2, which is the ship that departed Pohnpei State in order to return the Micronesia Expo's Yap delegation back to Yap State, have all been tested. Of 151 total persons onboard the vessel, 150 of them (i.e. all but one) tested positive for COVID-19. 117 of the 150 persons who tested positive on a PCR test also tested positive on an antigen test. The remaining 33 persons who were positive on a PCR test were tested negative on antigen tests. I am advised that persons who remain positive on both tests remain physically present onboard the MV Hapilmohol-2, and that those who are no longer actively infectious have been transferred to quarantine sites in Yap State. I am advised there remains discussion on how to categorize the cases from the MV Hapilmohol-2 and that it is plausible they will be updated in a forthcoming situation report under Yap State.
The Governor of Yap State, Jesse J. Salalu, is reportedly feeling normal. As of this email, he remains physically present in Pohnpei State. The Governor is scheduled to return to Yap State on August 2nd, pending a negative COVID-19 test result.
The FSM Banking Commissioner has informed the Office of the President that all banking institutions in Kosrae State have reopened. Kosrae State Government officials continue to report that Kosrae's operations remain normal. One Kosrae Government official reported that a fishing tournament took place today.
The Republic of Palau has generously donated medicines to the FSM, including Paxlovid for 750 persons; Bebtelovimab for 150 persons; Molnupiravir for 150 persons; Evusheld for 150 persons; and Remdesivir for 35 persons. I am advised by medical officials at the Department of Health & Social Affairs that these medicines are a combination of antivirals and monoclonal antibodies used for treating COVID-19. I am advised that there will be a 22-hour transit time from the Republic of Palau to Pohnpei State.
President David W. Panuelo spoke via Zoom with the Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Ralph DLG Torres, earlier this morning. Governor Torres offered to support the FSM, explicitly stating that he would be willing to expedite an immediate donation of approximately 25,000 rapid antigen tests, as well as personal protection equipment, medicines, and some level of manpower e.g. nurses. It is the intention of President Panuelo to graciously accept these very generous offers of assistance.
At the time of this email, I am not yet aware of the President signing a nation-wide social distancing decree. When the decree becomes signed and thus comes into effect, I will promulgate it widely.
This concludes the updates for tonight. There will be additional updates tomorrow evening.