A team of eight health professionals from the Republic of Palau Ministry of Health and Human Services (MHHS) including one from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (U.S. CDC) and Prevention and the Pacific Island Health Officers Association (PIHOA) flew to Yap to assist as the community deals with the spread of COVID-19 that is effecting the entire population.

Yap reported 179 new COVID-19 cases on September 2, bringing the total number of reported cases in the state to 599.

“As our nation celebrates Labor Day this week, I want to thank the men and women who flew to the aid of our brothers and sisters in Yap,” said President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. “Palau and Yap have shared close ties historically and, in fact, many Palauans today have family members in Yap and I know many there can say the same of Palau. To the people of Yap and throughout the Federated States of Micronesia, you are in our thoughts and prayers as you battle through this pandemic.”

The team left Saturday and will be in Yap for two weeks, said Minister of Health and Human Services Gaafar Uherbelau. MOH also sent some COVID-19 therapeutics and Tylenol.

Uherbelau said the assistance being given is the next link in a chain of help for which Palau has also been a recipient as Palauans faced COVID-19.

“Knowing first-hand how valuable strong partnerships have been for us throughout this unprecedented pandemic, we readily offered assistance to Yap State and the FSM Department of Health as they experience their first surge of COVID-19,” Uherbelau stated. “I hope that our team, in collaboration with U.S. CDC and PIHOA can achieve similar success alongside Yap State frontliners over the coming weeks.”

Palau’s assistance is meant to help Yap’s health teams and health systems from getting overwhelmed – a situation that has been experienced in hospitals and clinics around the world. (Press release)

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