COVID cases ‘rapidly increasing’ in FSM

PHOTO: Kosrae-Public Info Office

Less than a week after the first COVID-19 community cases were reported in the Federated States of Micronesia, the country’s vice president has been hospitalised with the virus and hundreds of cases were being monitored.

“Yosiwo George, vice president of the Federated States of Micronesia, is hospitalised in the state of Pohnpei and is positive with COVID-19,” the president’s office reported Sunday. “More information on this will be disseminated as it becomes available.”

The FSM was one of the last places in the world to remain untouched by the spread of the virus. While a few dozen imported cases had been identified over the past two years, no local cases were reported before last week.

Last Tuesday, the president’s office confirmed community transmission had been detected.

As of Friday, a total of 648 cases had been recorded in the FSM, with 449 having been recorded in the previous 24 hours.

Most of the total cases — 463 — were in Pohnpei, with 185 in Kosrae. There were also seven cases identified in Chuuk and three in Yap.

“I am advised those are border cases from previous repatriation flights,” government spokesman Richard Clark stated in the news release, “and that Yap and Chuuk remain COVID-19 free in their communities, at least as of now.”

While cases are rapidly increasing, no deaths have been recorded from the virus in the FSM.