CNMI to offer coronavirus screening for free

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Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said the CHCC and the governor's COVID-19 Task Force will conduct mass COVID-19 tests.

After receiving the first batch of test kits from South Korea, the CNMI government has announced its plans to step up COVID-19 screening by conducting tests across the commonwealth for free.

Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said the CHCC and the governor’s COVID-19 Task Force will conduct mass COVID-19 tests.

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According to Muna, mass testing would require 60,000 test kits. On Monday evening, 20,000 test kits arrived on Saipan, purchased by the CNMI from South Korea. An additional 40,000 test kits are expected to be delivered over the weekend.

Muna reiterated her appeal to members of the community, including undocumented foreigners, to come forward and get tested.

The test kits from South Korea are not U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved, but Muna said CHCC will also obtain test kits that are FDA-approved. “They will be available in the next two weeks. While we are waiting for them, we need to do our due diligence to protect this community.”

As of Wednesday, the CNMI had 13 positive COVID-19 cases and two deaths.

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