The tiny Pacific nation of Palau reported its first circumstances of coronavirus Saturday, shedding its prized standing as one of many world’s few COVID-free nations as authorities appealed for calm.
Two travellers, who examined constructive after arriving from Guam, have been positioned in quarantine together with their recognized contacts.
“We urge everybody to stay calm,” the Ministry of Well being mentioned in an announcement after deciding in opposition to imposing lockdown measures.
With greater than 80 % of the 18,000 inhabitants absolutely vaccinated, President Surangel Whipps insisted the distant island state “has been COVID-free however is now COVID-safe”.
Till Saturday Palau was simply considered one of fourteen nations on this planet that had recorded no virus circumstances in any respect, in response to the World Well being Group.
The Well being Ministry wouldn’t say what number of contacts have been in isolation however a spokesman advised AFP they didn’t imagine there had been any group transmission.
Whipps added if anybody who has been absolutely vaccinated does grow to be contaminated “it will likely be identical to a flu or they will not present signs in any respect.”
The contaminated travellers examined destructive 72 hours earlier than departure however have been constructive after they had a obligatory check 5 days after arrival.
Palau protocols demand that within the first 5 days after arriving, folks put on masks and keep away from crowds.
The nation shouldn’t be capable of decide which pressure of the coronavirus the brand new circumstances are and a pattern has been despatched to the USA for evaluation.
Palau, located about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) east of the Philippines, was one of many few nations to keep away from COVID-19 after closing its borders early within the pandemic, regardless of the large price to its tourism-reliant economic system.
Many of the different nations on the WHO’s virus-free record are additionally small island nations within the Pacific, bar North Korea and Turkmenistan—each of whose assertions of zero circumstances have lengthy been doubted by analysts.
In an try and kickstart its tourism business, Palau opened a quarantine-free journey bubble with Taiwan in April.
It closed a month later when Taiwan skilled a spike in virus circumstances and reopened final week with any unvaccinated vacationers jabbed on arrival.
A COVID-19 case that was reported in Palau in Could is now not listed by the WHO as a result of the signs detected have been thought of historic and posed no transmission threat.
Palau data first coronavirus case however says no an infection threat
© 2021 AFP
Palau loses virus-free standing with first COVID circumstances (2021, August 21)
retrieved 21 August 2021
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