A career epidemiology field officer for U.S affiliated Pacific Islands with U.S Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr W Thane Hancock said Palau is one of the first countries to have beaten COVID.
“Palau has done an amazing job vaccinating their community and, in my opinion, have ended the COVID threat to their community. One of the first countries to do so.”
In a message to President Surangel Whipps Jr., Dr Hancock praised Palau’s efforts that began with the border closure and screening at the very first report of the new virus COVID-19 in March of 2020 and subsequent measures including vaccination of its population.
President Whipps says that “we don’t want to praise ourselves” but statements from experts such as Dr Thane does credit to Palau’s Ministry of Health and all of the people that have been in the forefront of the response to this pandemic.
“We give credit to the people at the Ministry of Health, the EOC, people like Ritter Udui, Gaafar Uherbelau, Sher Madraisau, Darnelle Worswick, and of course Dr Mekoll and all those at Ministry of Health that worked to protect us.”
Palau has over 96% of the total adult population fully vaccinated and over 75% of the total population fully vaccinated.
Because of the high vaccination rate, Palau’s travel measures have eased up from previous requirements to allow easier access although it continued certain measures for added security.
Travelling to Palau requires full vaccination, a negative PCR test at least three days prior to departure and one test in Palau on the 5th day. Upon arrival, no quarantine is required for vaccinated traveler, only a 5-day restricted movement. Traveler only needs to present required documentation to airline before purchasing a ticket to Palau.
Also with Palau’s high vaccination rate, Whipps said that they will look into allowing in charter flights from Korea with similar requirements in line with “opening with care” policy.