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The 73-year old patient who was admitted to hospital under investigation for COVID-19 coronavirus is reported to be under the stable condition and waiting for private transport to MedVac her out of Palau soon. Samples taken from the patient for testing were sent to Hawaii CDC yesterday and results are expected shortly according to the Ministry of Health.

MOH confirmed that the patient admitted under investigation for possible COVID-19 coronavirus is not classified as a suspect case for the virus nor is she a confirmed case.  According to Minister of Health Dr. Emais Roberts, MOH following the established emergency protocol had to take action after certain conditions are met but it does not mean that the patient is a suspected case or a confirmed case.

The 73-year old female US citizen was admitted at the alternate screening site at the Belau National Hospital, separate from the general hospital population after she displayed symptoms that triggered health emergency protocols currently in place due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

According to Minister Dr. Emais Roberts, when she arrived in Palau 10 days ago, she was not sick.  She was accompanying her husband, who was part of the CanvasbackMedical Team providing medical services to Palau.  After a week, she began to have flu-like symptoms.  She already has an underlying condition of asthma.  They contacted the hospital and she was processed and placed in isolation per the emergency protocol until test results are received from the US CDC in Hawaii.

Samples are expected to reach Hawaii in a couple of days and according to Ritter Udui of the Ministry of Health, test results can be expected 24 hours after the receipt of the samples.

President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. in a public message urged everyone to remain calm and not to be alarmed.  “At this time, there is no indication that the coronavirus is responsible for the patient’s symptoms or that the community has been exposed to the virus,” expressed Remengesau in his message.

He added, “There is no indication at this point that the patient is suffering from anything other than the common cold. … Palau and our partners at the CDC are equipped to manage the situation should the patient receive a positive test. As in so many situations like this, fear—not a germ—is our biggest enemy.”

Minister Emais Roberts expressed that it is “better to be proactive than reactive”.  He added that “we should not be afraid, we should be prepared” and that this incident is a “good opportunity to see if we are prepared for such a situation.”

As of yesterday, the report said the patient was stable and will soon beMediVac out of Palau.