It was a mixed bag of COVID-19 news this past weekend: two more positive COVID-19 cases were reported, even as 54% of the CNMI’s eligible population is now fully vaccinated.
Two individuals were confirmed positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the CNMI’s overall total to 170 cases.
The 169th case was identified by travel screening and confirmed diagnosis through testing upon arrival last May 6. The 170th case was also identified by travel screening and confirmed diagnosis through fifth-day testing last May 8.
The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. said the individuals have been moved to the isolation area for monitoring. The CHCC Communicable Disease Investigation/Inspection team has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts of the new confirmed cases, including passengers on the same flights.
Separately, speaking at a radio news briefing last Friday, CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muña said a new team of vaccinators who will help with the vaccination campaign arrived on Saipan last week Thursday. They are from NuWest, a team of travelling nurses. They will be running the vaccination site at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe and the Medical Care and Treatment Site at the upper CHCC parking lot, and they will also help with the village outreach.
According to Muña, they are committed to campaigning for COVID-19 vaccinations because they want to prevent more deaths. When the CNMI had its two COVID-19 deaths, both victims weren’t vaccinated.
“I’m sure if they had a choice, they would have been vaccinated, if it was available. At this point right now, we’re looking at India [and] what’s happening in India. …We are so fortunate to have vaccines availability. I hope that everyone will take advantage of that, so that they can continue to be safe,” said Muña.
Also, CHCC announced that they will be working with the Saipan Chamber of Commerce as part of the Private-Public Partnership initiative to provide incentives for those who are fully vaccinated.
As for the ineligible population, Muña says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Drug Administration will soon decide if the younger population (16 years and below) can safely get vaccinated.