(March 30) The first suspected COVID-19 patient died in CNMI (Saipan) yesterday, according to the press release from CNMI Office of the Governor.

A 70-year old CNMI male resident was seen at Commonwealth Health Care Corporation (CHCC) on March 25th and was considered a Person Under Investigation (PUI), showing symptoms typical of COVID-19.  Samples were taken and sent to Guam and results are still pending.

Based on medical recommendations, the patient and his wife were put under quarantine at the Kanoa Hotel, the designated quarantine site in CNMI for COVID-19 suspected cases.

The patient is said to have no travel history but had contact with someone who has been tested positive for COVID-19.  The patient also had underlying conditions and it was reported that the next of kin had opted for comfort care, provided at the hotel where he was quarantined.

“It is very unfortunate news, that we never want to make this type of announcement”, stated Governor Ralph Deleon Guerrero Torres, extending condolences to the family of the deceased man.

Governor Torres added that such news will greatly affect the citizens of CNMI.  “We must take courage and continue to do our part to fight this virus,” urged Torres of the CNMI people.

Currently, there are two confirmed COVID-19 cases in CNMI.  The two cases are reported to have traveled to Guam this March.

Commonwealth of North Marianas Islands (CNMI) hosts a big population of Palauans amongst its residents.