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Governor Ralph DLG Torres, his Covid-19 Task Force, and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp (CHCC) on Thursday announced the confirmation of two new Covid-19 cases in the CNMI.
These two new cases of Covid-19 include a 55-year-old male and a 31-year-old male. These two individuals have no recent travel history. Both are in stable condition and remain in isolation.
Both individuals are being closely monitored by CHCC medical teams. CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts (close family members, friends, and associates) of all confirmed cases. CHCC continues to work with the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force to expand designated isolation areas to closely monitor the well-being of individuals with symptoms.
As of 02 April, 2020, the CNMI has submitted 33 specimens for Covid-19 testing to the Guam Public Health Laboratory. Of these 33 specimens, 23 have been processed, resulting in eight positive specimens and 15 negative specimens. CHCC awaits the results of nine specimens.
Some of these cases have come in contact with those who have a travel history from a location with confirmed Covid-19 cases. Other cases have had no recent travel history or no evident indication of coming in contact with someone who is positive for Covid-19.
This new finding of cases occurring among those without close contact is suggestive that Covid-19 community transmission is occurring on Saipan. Community transmission means people have been infected within our community and not just imported from another Covid-19 outbreak jurisdiction.
Consistent with its message urging residents to practice social distancing, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation is enabling people to connect with doctors virtually, while staying at home.
Medical teleconsultation is a pivotal tool for helping to reduce the spread of Covid-19, while still connecting patients with advice they need from medical professionals.
Members of the community who are concerned about Covid-19-like symptoms they are experiencing can call CHCC’s Covid-19 Infoline to describe their symptoms, and determine if they should speak with a medical professional. Callers can choose to talk to medical staff via a video chat or the telephone about the symptoms they’re having.
“We’re excited to make this an option for those who don’t want to come to a clinic or our screening tent to inquire about their symptoms. It’s important that we protect both our patients and our staff by reducing the need for face to face interaction as much as possible,” says CHCC CEO Esther Muna.
“The software we’re using to conduct the web-based video teleconsultations does not require the patient to download anything. Patients just click the link they receive on their smart phone, tablet, or computer, and they’re in a virtual waiting room,” explained Muna.
CHCC is urging community members with mild illnesses to treat their symptoms at home and to practice self-quarantine while sick. This means not leaving the house except to get medical care, remaining separate from others in the home, and not sharing dishes, food, or bedding with others in the household..
SOURCE: MARIANAS VARIETY/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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