KOROR (Island Times/Pacnews) — Three more travel-related Covid-19 positive cases have been identified in Palau after 64 inbound travelers from an Oct. 3, 2021 United Airlines flight from Guam received their day-five test.

According to the Ministry of Health and Human Services, the tests conducted with PCR GeneXpert and Abbot ID confirmed the results to be positive for three of the passengers.

Day one testing that occurred upon the passengers’ arrival  showed all 64 passengers testing negative for Covid-19. But day-five testing identified three of them to be positive. 

The health ministry has initiated contact tracing for the three identified individuals. 

A notice from the Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School stated that the principal and two other school staff were exposed to one of the identified positive cases and have been put into quarantine for 10 days as required by the health ministry’s Covid-19 protocols.  They have also been tested and the results were negative for Covid-19, but in accordance with the protocols, they will remain in quarantine until after Day 10 testing.

President Surangel Whipps Jr. at a press conference urged the people to have confidence in the system, noting again Palau’s high vaccination rates and protocols in place to identify and isolate Covid-19 cases. 

 Guam, the source of entry for vaccinated travelers, has shown a surge in Covid infections, as well as high breakthrough cases for vaccinated individuals.

With the increase in the number of incoming travelers, Whipps said:   “Life must go on.  Let’s be confident and not worry. Our hospital is prepared and our personnel are ready and most of all we are vaccinated.”

 Living with Covid-19, he added, is now the “new normal.”

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