HAGATNA, 16 MARCH 2020 (PACIFIC ISLAND TIMES)—Guam has three confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection as of Sunday, Governor Lourdes Leon Guerrero said, warning that more cases are anticipated.
The first two patients, who are related, traveled to the Philippines and came back to Guam on a United Airlines flight on 02 March, while the third patient has no known travel history, with a family member who recently traveled to Japan, the governor said. They were tested on Saturday and the results came back on Sunday. The three are currently in isolation at the Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH),’s Skilled Nursing Unit in Barrigada Heights, the designated isolation facility for Covid-19.
Leon Guerrero said she is confident GMH is capable of handling the situation.
Guerrero said the Department of Public Health and Social Service, the Guam Homeland Security and Guam Customs and Quarantine have begun investigating and tracing passengers who were on the same fight and searching for people who may have been in contact with the infected patients.
“If you were on this flight and have flu-like symptoms, stay home and contact your doctors,” the governor said at a hastily-called press conference at the GHS office. “This is what we have prepared for. While we must expect more cases, everything that can be done is being done.”
While Guam does not have the authority to impose a travel ban, the governor urged residents to avoid travel to the Philippines and other affected areas.
“If you travel to Manila, I urge you to self-quarantine for no less than 14 days,” Guerrero said.
The governor also mandates the cancellations of community events and social gatherings with more than 100 people.
Guerrero is scheduled to meet with public and private school administrators on Monday to discuss how to proceed. “The community will be updated if there is a change in guidance,” JIC said.
The three confirmed cases were among the five samples tested at the Guam Public Health Laboratory in Tamuning tested on Sunday. Two met the Persons Under Investigation criteria and three were Surveillance Cases. Three tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, according to a press release from Joint Information Center.
A total of 14 tests have been performed at the Tamuning last since 12 March. Eleven patients were tested negative for the virus.
“DPHSS, along with the Guam Memorial Hospital, is working as rapidly as possible to identify close contacts of the cases. Close contacts may include family members and co-workers who will be quarantined and actively monitored by Public Health for 14 days after their last contact with the case. DPHSS will release additional information as it becomes available,” homeland security officials said in a release.
Due to professional development, there are no classes for all Guam Department of Education schools on Monday.
The governor also mandates the cancellations of community events and social gatherings with more than 100 people. During her special address on Saturday, the governor ordered the closure of public senior centers by close of business Wednesday, noting that the elderly are most susceptible to the viral infection.
“We have been preparing for this and we are ready to respond. Let’s not surrender to fear and panic. Stay calm, stay informed, and do your part to protect yourself and others as we address this public health issue together,” Guerrero said.
“We have been preparing for this and we are ready to respond. Let’s not surrender to fear and panic. Stay calm, stay informed, and do your part to protect yourself and others as we address this public health issue together,” Guerrero said. …. PACNEWS