Ambassador Wallace Chow announced on April 20th that him along with staff as well as agencies that came into contact with the Naval Fleet Academy that visited Palau a month ago will undergo testing to confirm that Palau is still free from COVID-19.

“Personally, I feel pretty healthy and energetic and so do my colleagues,” stated Ambassador Chow. He added that “we hope that all tests will be negative, but let’s see.”

Over the weekend, Taiwan announced that there are a total of 24 cadets in the Naval Fleet that are confirmed positive for COVID-19. According to the reports by the Ministry of Health in Taiwan, the cases are most likely due to ‘ship cluster’.

Minister Dr. Emais Roberts said that “There is little chance that the virus on the vessel came from Palau.” “It has been over a month since their visit, and precautionary measures were taken at every event involving the cadets here in Palau.” Roberts added.

The two Palauans that took part in the Naval Academy were not among the 24 that were confirmed positive. 700 cadets are currently under quarantine and have all been tested. Navy deputy commander Mei Chia-Shu expressed his deepest apologies for not properly carrying preventative measures.

According to the Ministry of Health press release “The Ministry of Health has protocols in place for tracing, and at the moment, the Bureau of Public Health is in communication with the Taiwan International Health Regulations and National Focal Point Office as they conduct their investigation. Based on the results of such investigation, Bureau of Public Health activates its surveillance and contact tracing mechanisms, to identify and test contacts and isolate if there are any positive cases.”

The public is urged to continue practicing preventative measures such as social distancing and continuing proper respiratory etiquette.