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Sen. Manglona: NMI borders should remain closed

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SENATOR Paul A. Manglona is asking Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and the Covid-19 Task Force to keep up the good work in combating the pandemic in the CNMI by keeping the borders closed until the community-based tests reach a reasonable sample size of favorable results.

In a letter to the governor, Manglona said: “Thank you and our Covid-19 Task Force for your continued efforts in combating this Covid-19 pandemic in our islands.”

The lone minority senator said he was happy to hear the great news that community-based testing has started.

The senator, however, noted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and a Johns Hopkins University model projected a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases or a possible peak of 6,000 cases by the end of May to early June.

As of Wednesday afternoon, April 29, the CNMI had recorded a total of 14 Covid-19 cases, two deaths, and 12 recoveries.

In his letter to the governor, Manglona emphasized the importance of keeping the CNMI borders closed.

“If we are not diligent in keeping our low infection rate at bay, then we can expect the projected number of cases to come to fruition in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

The senator said Hokkaido, Japan lifted the restrictions “too quickly and too soon,” resulting in a second wave of infections that forced the island back into lockdown.

“With discussions on commencing flights beginning early next week to and from Guam, I ask that your administration and the Covid-19 Task Force look into testing expansively before loosening restrictions and opening up our borders again,” Manglona said.

He added that based on the daily testing capacity of the task force at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, “it will take several weeks before we can attain a sample size of 10% of the CNMI’s population. This is a reasonable minimum sample size to determine the extent of community transmission.”

He said, “The only way we will know how many asymptomatic carriers there are in our islands is to test liberally and expansively.”

Manglona said he is “strongly urging” the governor to request “a delay in the commencement of flights until such time that the CNMI has a reasonable sample size of at least 10% of the community tested.”

“I humbly ask you, Governor, to continue the efforts that you have put in place to stop the spread,” Manglona said. “Please act diligently and decisively before opening our borders, including on the islands of Rota and Tinian, where the healthcare system is already frail and there are no quarantine facilities available.”

 

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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