Legislators join call for public to ‘stay home’

Posted on Apr 01 2020

With two confirmed COVID-19 cases, and following the Monday death of a quarantined man suspected of having the coronavirus, legislators, through social media, are echoing the call of the Torres administration for the community to take seriously all directives to stay home and follow social distancing protocols.

“With today’s unfortunate news, we are strongly urged to once again remain vigilant against the spread of COVID-19. We must take seriously the actions asked by us to undertake, such as staying home and keeping distances from each other,” said Rep. Luis John DLG Castro (R-Saipan).

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres announced Monday a curfew for all, expanding the initial curfew set for minors, as a measure to further mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 threat in the CNMI. The governor also tightened the social gathering limit to 10 people, and people who would violate will be penalized.

“The mandatory curfew will be difficult and frustrating to some, but at this point, we have to do everything possible to try and stop the community spread,” Rep. Edwin K. Propst (Ind-Saipan) said. “A large portion of our population employed by the government will continue to receive pay, and all the government is asking in return is that they stay and work from home. Part of staying home means not having people over and enforcing strict social distancing measures.”

The minority leader further encouraged everyone to do everything to help stop the spread of the virus, stressing that the islands’ only hospital, and its health care workers, cannot be overwhelmed.

“We do not have the resources,” Propst added.

The Commonwealth Health Center currently only has 86 beds (76 beds available) and 17 ventilators.

“Now we brace for more difficult days ahead. Protect yourselves, your loved ones, and our entire community and help stop the spread,” said Rep. Tina Sablan (Ind-Saipan), who urged the community to take the public health directives seriously. “Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, don’t touch your face, sanitize frequently, practice social distancing and stay at least 6 feet away from others at all times. Work from home if possible, no social gatherings, no beaches or parks, abide by the 7pm curfew that now applies to all of us.”

She also appealed to everyone to stay home. “Please, please stay home. As much as possible stay home. Do these things as if your life and the lives of the people you love depend on it. Because they do.”

Iva Maurin | Correspondent
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com
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