Torres optimistic spread will be contained

Governor says updated info is that it’s still a cluster and not community spread

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres expressed optimism yesterday that local authorities will be able to contain the CNMI’s first cases of local transmission of COVID-19 in 204 days.

Torres also emphasized the need to allow the proper entities to complete their investigation, do the contact tracing and testing, among other steps.

“I believe that we will contain the situation and I need our community to only listen to the appropriate media outlets,” he said.

So far, 10 people have been confirmed positive for local transmission of the virus.

The governor also disclosed that their updated information is that these positive cases are still a cluster and not a community spread.

Last Friday, Saipan Tribune asked Torres about Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang’s request to hold a full-blown but controlled Fourth of July Liberation Day celebration. The governor’s response at the time was he supports it as long as their projection continues at the rate they’re going, with the vaccination rollout increasing to 80% – 90% by the time of the Liberation Day in July.

“So, at this moment, if our projection continues, I don’t see why we shouldn’t. It’s actually a time to celebrate,” he said.

Torres said their success in the vaccination rollout in the community is a moving target. “So for the community…we all want to have that Liberation. Let’s continue to push hard on getting everybody vaccinated,” he said.

Due to the pandemic, last year’s Fourth of July Liberation was a one-day very limited on-the-ground celebration.

Apatang recently requested approval from COVID-19 Task Force chair Warren Villagomez and Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer Esther L. Muña to hold this year five consecutive evenings of activities at the Garapan Fishing Base and a full-day celebration on the Fourth of July, instead of the traditional nine-day festivities.

MD: Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres expressed yesterday optimism that they will be able to contain the situation pertaining to the eight asymptomatic people tested positive for COVID-19 that broke the 204-day streak of zero community transmissions.

KW: Ralph DLG. Torres, David M. Apatang, tested positive, Fourth of July Liberation celebration.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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