POHNPEI (PACIFIC ISLAND TIMES) —With infections rapidly surging within a week, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has reported its first Covid-related death in Pohnpei. 

“he deceased is an elderly man who possessed comorbidities. I have not been provided information on the deceased’s vaccination status,” said Richard Clark, spokesman for the FSM government.

Clark said Vice President Yosiwo P. George, who was reported Sunday to have tested positive for Covid-19, remained in the hospital but his condition “is improving.”

“Numerous FSM government Cabinet and senior officials are presently positive for Covid-19, though I am not permitted through this communication to provide further details on this at this time.

Although the government has not imposed any lockdown or shutdown orders, Clark said several businesses and restaurants have taken the initiative to temporarily cease operations “due to a lack of healthy staff able to attend their place of employment.”

The FSM borders have remained closed since March 2020. It was not known as of this writing if the 01 August reopening plan would be carried out as scheduled.

The FSM reported 449 cases on 23 July and 140 Sunday.  The government reported eight hospital admissions. The FSM has recorded a total of 1,261 since January 2021, mostly border cases. The first community transmissions were reported on 19 July. 

“The cases written for Chuuk and Yap are reflective of previous repatriation flights. All of those cases were border cases. Both Yap and Chuuk remain Covid-19 free in their communities,” Clark said. “We’re still in the process of fine-tuning these reports for readability and accessibility.”

Clark said Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has sought to meet with President David Panuelo to offer some form of Covid-related assistance. 

The FSM Department of Health & Social Affairs announced that two teams from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are due to arrive in Pohnpei and  Kosrae on Tuesday.

“The teams include medical epidemiologists and risk communications specialists,” Clark said.

He said Panuelo plans to meet with the state governors to discuss the community spread of Covid-19 in the FSM. …PACNEWS

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