Stranded Palauans finally home, now in quarantine

Stranded Palauans arrived last week from Guam and Taiwan (From the Office of the President, Republic of Palau)

Palau’s National Emergency Committee has confirmed that all 47 repatriated Palauans from Guam are now in quarantine after arriving safely today.

The group was part of the 58 Palau citizens that the government repatriated this week from Guam and Taiwan. They include a number of University of Guam students and medical referral patients and their relatives.

The 11 Palau citizens stranded in Taiwan were scheduled to return home on a charter flight Wednesday after completing medical treatment in Taiwan, according to the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. also released a statement regarding the repatriation of the stranded citizens.

“Alii from your family and friends in Palau. We are eager and excited to welcome you back home. We know that the steps you have taken to get where you are now have been trying, but we hope that you all understand the importance of taking all of the precautions you have endured. Everything that we have asked you to do has been to ensure your safety, as well as the safety and health of your family and friends in Palau. When you arrive, please give your full cooperation to the officials here who will bring you to the quarantine sites and care for you over the next two weeks. We have done all we can to keep Palau safe: now it is up to you.

As you are likely aware, there are some in Palau who remain very worried about this flight bringing the COVID-19 virus to the country. Their feelings are not personal, so please do not take them that way. We are all acting in the way that we believe is in our nation’s shared interest. Please understand those who feel differently than you.”

Strict protocols

According to the Office of the President of Palau, the chartered flights that brought them home implemented precautionary measures to reduce the risk of infection. These precautions include the use of masks, adequate spacing between passengers, and cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

At least 72 hours before their scheduled flight, the passengers went through COVID-19 testing. Passengers coming from Guam were also required to complete the 14-day mandatory quarantine before the flight.