Outgoing UN Resident Coordinator for the Pacific Mr. Sanaka Samarasinha lauded Palau’s high vaccination rate adding  that it is “among the best in the world.”

Samarasinha was in Palau last week for a country mission where he also met key government representatives, national UN staff, and civil society groups, and the private sector to discuss,  current work the UN is doing here.

“I need to congratulate Palau and Palauans for your state of vaccination. You’re amongst the best in the world in terms of the fully vaccinated, the percentage of the fully vaccinated people in your population amongst your population.”

 That is really, really important if we are going to be able to carry on with our lives, perhaps with some adjustments, but we all want to get back to a degree of normalcy,” he said in an interview.

He said vaccination is key to reopening the economy.

“And given that Palau is dependent on tourism, it’s quite important that you are  able to get to a stage where you can safely welcome visitors back.”

According to the Ministry of Health and Human Services ) MHHS), as of September 27, 91 percent of the estimated 17,651 population have been fully vaccinated.

Palau also leading the United States on COVID-19  vaccination statistics

“ I think vaccination is a very important step in order to be able to reopen borders and be able to welcome visitors,” Samarasinha stressed.

He also highlighted that aside from a high immunization rate,  vigilance is also a key element in preventing the spread of the disease and reviving the economy.

“I think it is equally important to note that we still have to be vigilant. It is possible down the road that we may face future variants, we may face other viruses. So taking those basic measures to keep ourselves in our family safe,” he noted.

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