Chuuk in FSM loses COVID-free status

Test to Treat Center located at the Chuuk State Hospital

Chuuk, in the Federated States of Micronesia, is no longer a COVID-free state, with 480 infections reported as of September 26, the office of the Governor of Chuuk announced.

Out of the total infections confirmed, there are three (3) hospitalisations and one (1) discharged, it said.

The FSM began seeing its first true surge in cases earlier this year, but Chuuk remained COVID-free, at least through community transmission, until the cases reported over the weekend.

The first 20 cases were confirmed Sunday by Chuuk State Hospital as community transmissions and treatment, such as Paxlovid, was provided to 18 of the patients with confirmed cases.

Paxlovid is an oral antiviral therapy that is used to “help fight viral infection by stopping the virus that causes COVID-19 from replicating in the body,” according to its manufacturer, Pfizer.

Chuuk residents were encouraged to get tested and treated.

“I am advised the Chuuk State Test & Treat site is immediately in front of the Chuuk State Hospital,” Clark advised.

Quarantine restrictions remain in place for inbound travelers to Chuuk. According to the U.S Embassy in the Federate States of Micronesia, Chuuk continues to isolate border cases.

“Passengers wishing to land in Chuuk and Yap are subject to numerical restrictions,” the U.S. Embassy in the FSM stated.

In light of the confirmed cases, Chuuk’s Office of the Governor postponed several scheduled activities until further notice.

Aside from the mitigation measure to reduce community transmission by avoiding large crowds, the Chuuk Governor’s Office urged residents to wash their hands, wear masks, and avoid touching their faces. “At the time of this email, in Chuuk state on Sunday, September 25. It is plausible the situation in Chuuk will evolve rapidly like Pohnpei, Kosrae and Yap. The Office of the President will endeavour to relay additional information as soon as practicable,” Clark said.