As of yesterday, March 30, 2020, Palau’s Ministry of Health reported that a person has been admitted to the hospital showing symptoms of COVID-19.
The person, according to the press release, had traveled to Guam and arrived in Palau on March 16th. The patient is currently a Person Under Investigation (PUI) and samples taken from the patient will be sent to Guam for testing on Thursday.
Report from Ministry of Health says the patient is in stable condition in the isolation room at the national hospital.
Public Health officials will conduct investigation in accordance with the established protocol which include interviewing all persons that have been in contact with the patient.
People that have traveled within the last 14 days are urged to practice self-quarantine and stay at home and monitor their health.
MOH continues to urge everyone not to panic, to practice preventive measures such as social distancing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, washing hands with soap and water and staying away from crowds as much as possible.
Meanwhile, Palau has been in a flurry of activities in the past weeks readying itself to handle potential COVID-19 cases. On March 22nd, Palau stopped UA flights from Guam until April 9 and closed all schools for two-weeks.
This week Wednesday, Palau is expecting to receive 1,000 COVID-19 test kits along with technical experts from Taiwan Shin Kong Hospital to train local personnel on how to test.
Moreover, preparations of an alternate site for potential COVID-19 patients at the Kalau Gym are 90% completed according to Minister of Health Dr. Emais Roberts. Room for the PCR lab equipment (testing machine) have been constructed at the alternate site at Kalau Gym as well.
Isolation rooms for severe cases at the Belau Hospital have also been prepared, now have negative pressure and just awaiting equipment.
Reports yesterday said ongoing preparations are based on the plan for UA flights reopening on April 9 but this is not set in stone and still depends on work progress.
President Remengesau said that options are still being discussed including a possibility of a hybrid solution such as allowing stranded citizens (students and citizens that have travelled out but now stuck outside) to return but continue to ban other travelers until such time that the situation has improved.
Asked whether Palau had enough medical supplies to handle serious positive cases, Minister Roberts said Palau should be able to handle one case but if cases increase, it will be a problem because it takes a lot of resources to take care of one patient.
As of March 30, Palau has no suspect case, no confirm case and one PUI (person under investigation) case.