Because of geography and its proximity to areas with coronavirus outbreaks, the islands may be at a high risk of the virus entering the Commonwealth, but its luck had held out so far, with no cases being reported yet in the CNMI.
In an interview with Commonwealth Health Care Corp. spokesperson Zoe Travis, she said the CNMI is looking good despite its high risk of having a novel coronavirus outbreak.
“It sounds like most of the airlines [from China] are still suspended. …If we don’t have any people coming in, it’s not likely that we’re going to get a case. Although it’s still possible and we’re still in a high-risk region,” she said.
She assured that the CNMI continues to take precautionary measures. “We want to make sure that we [don’t] have an outbreak starting here,” she said.
Travis also pointed out that there may still be a threat of an outbreak but thousands who were previously infected with the virus have already recovered, which is a good sign not just for the CNMI but for other areas as well.
Additionally, Travis said, the mortality rate of COVID-2019 is at around 2%, which she described as “pretty good” compared to other transmissible diseases like Ebola. Mortality rate means the number of people who die against the number of people who become infected.
“A lot of people have recovered, around 27,000. The mortality rate…[has] been holding steady at about 2% to 3%. The mortality rate for something like Ebola was like 40%. Like there’s a huge difference in the mortality rate. This one looks transmissible, but it’s less deadly,” she said.
According to various media outlets, compared to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which had a mortality rate of 9.6%, COVID-2019 appear to be less deadly. However, COVID-2019 has infected and killed over three times the number of SARS. SARS killed 774 people and infected 8,098 between November 2002 and July 2003, while COVID-2019 killed nearly three times that in just eight weeks. In China alone, COVID-2019 has killed 2,703 individuals and has infected 80,248.
Travis told the media that there is currently no cure for COVID-2019 but symptoms can be treated until a patient has recovered.
“It’s not like there’s a cure exactly. Like when you get the flu, there’s no cure. You don’t take, like, the flu medicine; you just kind of get better. It’s like that. So you they treat the symptoms. If they’re dehydrated, if they’re having respiratory issues, they treat the symptoms and then they either recover or they don’t,” she said.