SAIPAN, 06 APRIL 2020 (MARIANAS VARIETY) —The supplies needed for a 50-bed field medical hospital arrived at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport on Saturday in response to GovernorRalph DLG Torres and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s request for federal assistance in combating the Covid-19 pandemic in the CNMI.

The tents, beds, personal protective equipment, medication and other medical supplies were provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Defence and the U.S Air Force.

In an interview at the airport, the governor said all the states and territories are requesting the same items. “Yet we are able to get a little help here that goes a long way,” the governor said as he thanked HHS, FEMA, DOD, the Air Force, CHCC and the Covid-19 Task Force for their partnership.

The governor said his administration continues to work closely with CHCC CEO Esther Muna, the Covid-19 Task Force and federal partners, adding that the CNMI will get more federal assistance soon.

In a separate interview, Muna said the CNMI requested federal assistance to expand CHCC’s current capacity as she expressed gratitude to the U.S. government for all its help. “We are glad to see these medical items on our island,” she added. “We have been collaborating  and communicating with them [HHS]. We have been asking for these items. I am just happy because we know that the support is there. It is about increasing our capacity, ensuring the protection of the community, ensuring the protection of our healthcare workers.”

For his part, the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force chairman, Warren Villagomez, said they have already identified possible locations for the field hospital. These include CHCC’s parking lot.

“It’s a feasible site because of the availability of utilities and equipment,” he added. The other possible locations they are considering are American Memorial Park and a property adjacent to and owned by the hospital.

Muna said  CHCC is also managing the facilities at Kanoa Resort, for those who need to be isolated, and the Pacific Islands Club, for individuals who are asymptomatic or need to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine…..PACNEWS