41 FSM citizens, diplomats enter pre-quarantine on Guam as part of repatriation process

FSM president David Panuelo

The Office of the President of the Federated States of Micronesia issued a statement on Tuesday, confirming that 41 of its citizens and diplomats — are now in a pre-quarantine site on Guam, in preparation for repatriation to the FSM.

 “On November 20th and November 21st, 2020, forty-one (41) individuals—consisting of MiCare-insured medical patients and their attendants, students, and diplomatic staff who are directly attached to foreign Embassies—entered the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia’s (FSM) pre-quarantine site in Guam,” the release stated.

The 41 individuals will stay in the facility for 14 days. Access and visitation to the pre-quarantine and quarantine facilities are restricted.

The FSM Office of the President also said that they will be required to undergo an additional mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival in the FSM, tentatively scheduled for December 5.

They will also go through COVID-19 testing and other measures required to complete the repatriation process.

“I have demanded an airtight repatriation regime, and that is precisely what we’re doing,” David W. Panuelo, FSM President, said in a statement.

He added: “While I understand citizens may be worried about the repatriation, there is no need to be fearful, and to demonstrate why, let us review the scenario in full. To enter the pre-quarantine site in Guam and begin the 14-day pre-quarantine period, every repatriating person had to submit a COVID-19 test. There are multiple more COVID-19 tests during the pre-quarantine period. There is no contact during the pre-quarantine, and all medical and food services are delivered through certified vendors.”

Panuelo said on December 5, the repatriating individuals will be escorted to the aircraft on a disinfected vehicle with COVID-19 tested drivers wearing appropriate PPEs.

Likewise, the humanitarian U.S. Armed Forces plane chartered for the repatriation process will also be disinfected and its crew tested for COVID-19.

He emphasized multiple tests will be conducted during the pre-quarantine, arrival, and quarantine process in the FSM. There will be no exemptions to the testing and security protocols.

Panuelo said national and state law enforcement will ensure the quarantine site is secure and that access and visitation are prohibited.

“Ever since our border closed in March, our citizenry have been split into two distinct groups: those who wish to maintain the border closure until the Pandemic is no longer a threat, and those who wish to reunite with loved ones stranded abroad. As your President, I am obligated to protect and secure our Nation’s borders and to keep you safe from external threats. We remain COVID-19 free, and we are implementing an airtight process to keep the COVID-19 virus out,” Panuelo said.