Vice President and Chairman of National Emergency Committee Arnold Oilouch, Minister of Health Dr. Emais Roberts, United States Ambassador John Hennessey-Niland, members of the EOC (Emergency Operation Command) and members of NEC met with the leadership of Peleliu State on Wednesday to address the concerns raised in a State resolution regarding the planned United States military operation dubbed KOA MOANA’s visit to Peleliu on July 25 to August 18th of this year.
Peleliu State Legislature had earlier passed a resolution requesting that the military visit be postponed until COVID-19 cases have “levelled off”. The resolutionasserted that with the escalating cases around the world and United States with 2 million confirmed cases and over 112,000 deaths, the visit should be postponed.
At the meeting with Peleliu leaders, they were informed that the military personnel were tested before boarding the ship and will be coming straight to Palau with no stops. Also they will be at sea for 20 days and upon arrival, will be tested again before being allowed to disembark.
They were also informed that the military personnel that will be working at the airport, will be quarantined there with no contact with others and will be tested again after 14 days before they are allowed to interact with community.
Even with these assurances to the leadership of Peleliu State, the team will visit Peleliu again this weekend for a community meeting to address community concerns regarding the visit.
Asked why the consultations with community did not take place before, Vice President Oilouch stated that this was an annual event and that the improvement of Peleliu airport has been a standing request of Peleliu State for many years and finally the U.S. military had agreed to conduct the repairs and improvements.
Vice President Oilouch assured that they were taking all the steps to minimize risk to the people of Peleliu and the people of Palau.