A breath of relief is taken after the Filipino construction worker returning home from Palau is tested NEGATIVE for COVID-19 after second test was administered in the Philippines.

The passenger, one of the 60 Filipinos on the September 15th flight, was tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in the Philippines.  Upon request by Palau’s Ministry of Health Emergency Operations Center (EOC), a different lab certified by the Republic of the Philippines Department of Health conducted another test, an RT-PCR COVID-19 test and the result came back negative for COVID-19.

Report from the Ministry of Health said that the first test was false positive.  The second test showed that he did not have the COVID-19 virus.

“We are relieved to hear that the individual has been confirmed to be free of COVID-19.  While Palau continues to have no confirmed cases of the virus, I thank the MOH and their counterparts in the Philippines for their diligence in the investigation,” stated President Remengesau Jr. in a press release.

Ministry of Health EOC announced on September 18th that it was investigating a possible COVID-19 case in the Philippines after receiving initial report that one of the passengers from Palau was tested positive upon arriving in the Philippines.

All contacts here in Palau including those who travelled with the individual to the Philippines were tested and results for all were negative for COVID-19 virus.

The individual has been working in and living in Palau since December of 2019 and did not have any contacts with any known confirmed COVID-19 case and has not travelled outside of Palau. All his colleagues and known contacts in Palau were tested and all were negative of COVID-19.

While Palau remains with no case of COVID-19, Ministry of Health continues to urge the public to practice preventive measures including proper and frequent handwashing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and keeping away from others when sick.

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