Ministry of Health (MOH) announced this week that it has identified the 2nd historical positive COVID case from a passenger that arrived from Guam on the May 30th flight. The case is deemed “historical”, and pose very low risk to the public according to Ministry of Health.
The identified case, even though deemed safe, under current protocols, has been placed in isolation while contact tracing is being done by MOH. Person was fully vaccinated before coming to Palau, tested negative prior to getting on the plane and again under current testing protocols was found positive with remnants of virus on the day 7th testing. EOC Deputy Incident Commander Gaafar Uherbelau says that they believe this is also a case of previous infection based on test results but they are conducting further investigations and contact tracing.
In anticipation of increase in July flights from Guam, Uherbelau said that although only vaccinated individuals are allowed on those flight, they expect to see similar cases and are in the process of revising their protocols and regulations.
“Moving forward, we are in the process of revising testing protocols, isolation and quarantine regulations based on CDC and WHO guidance with regards to vaccination.”
“We want to be safe, that is most important but we also need to make adjustment to our regulations in accordance with science,” stated President Surangel Whipps Jr. in anticipation of more vaccinated persons traveling.
The 1st identified positive “historical” case was released on Wednesday, June 9, after being in isolation for 10 days and getting tested again on the 10th day following current protocols.