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Palau delays plans for repatriation flight after Covid cases

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KOROR (RNZ Pacific) — Palau has delayed a repatriation flight after it emerged two of the expected passengers have Covid-19.

The flight from Guam was scheduled to leave for Palau Wednesday with 87 Palauans, who have been stranded abroad since the pandemic forced border closures in March.

RNZ Pacific's Palau correspondent, Bernadette Carreon, said mandatory testing of all passengers ahead of the flight unearthed the positive cases.

Palau, one of those countries with no confirmed cases of Covid-19, repatriated a group of about 40 citizens from Guam last month.

But because of the two positive cases, Carreon said Palau will revisit its decision to scale down its repatriation quarantine requirements to one week.

“Because of the success of the first repatriation in June, it was supposed to be two weeks of quarantine in Guam but they scaled it down to one week.

“But I'm thinking that because of these two cases they want to put additional measures, which is another week of quarantine.”

Carreon said many of those due to be repatriated were returning from the U.S mainland.

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