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Two new Covid-19 cases in CNMI
11:53 pm GMT+12, 26/07/2020, Northern Mariana Islands

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. reported two new Covid-19 cases, which brings the total number of cumulative cases in the CNMI to 40 since 28 March, 2020.
 
One of the new cases was identified through incoming traveler screening while the other “fits in the identification categories of travel and contact tracing, but was confirmed diagnosis through contact tracing.”
 
CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said the two individuals were not on the same flight.
 
“The 40th case is a contact confirmed positive on another flight. Both have been quarantined since arrival,” she added.
 
She said CHCC and the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force will continue to implement the quarantine protocols.
 
But Muna said some travellers meet the criteria for self-quarantine.
 
“You could be an essential worker that have to be on island for a couple of days to do your work,” she said.
 
Medical providers, Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel and others who are involved in the Covid-19 pandemic response are considered essential workers, Muna said.
 
In addition, travellers who can present a valid polymerase chain reaction or PCR test result can also be allowed to self-quarantine at their home.
 
Some travelers have brought in antigen test results, but Muna said these are not acceptable right now. “We are using PCR simply because it is the ‘gold standard’ for laboratory testing for Covid-19 that detects the virus in your system. Our goal is to ensure that we identify and detect that,” she added.
 
CHCC and the task force are still conducting two Covid-19 tests for travellers — one upon arrival at the Saipan airport and another on the fifth day of arrival.
 
“If you are tested and you are positive on arrival, then instead of the five to six days [of quarantine] you are likely going to stay for an additional 14 days,” Muna said.
 
The virus does not necessarily show up until after the fifth day or sixth day of exposure, she added. “That is why we have a second test.”
 
She added, “The [goal] is to contain the virus and we have successfully done so — our numbers remain low.”
 
She said the protocols may not be perfect, “but they will help ensure that the number of cases doesn’t get out of hand.”
 
There had been no community transmission for over three weeks, she said on Sunday.
 
On Guam, as of Saturday, there had been a total of 337 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with five deaths, 244 released from isolation, and 88 active cases. Of those cases, 288 were classified as civilians and 49 were military service members.

SOURCE: MARIANAS VARIETY/PACNEWS


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