Palau outlines strategy against COVID-19; government to receive 1000 testing kits from Taiwan

The Palau Government is putting up new testing facilities at the Belau Hospital (Photo from the Office of the President, Republic of Palau)

While Palau remains one of the few nations without a confirmed COVID-19 case, its government has outlined a strategy to shore up its defense against a potential outbreak. The strategy includes working with its regional partner, Taiwan, in bringing COVID-19 testing kits and medical supplies to the Pacific Island nation.

Palau’s National Emergency Committee reported that they are expecting around 1,000 COVID-19 test kits, medical supplies and equipment from the Taiwan Government and Shin Kong Hospital.

The donations are expected to arrive on Wednesday, April 1. A technical expert from the hospital will be arriving on the same flight to install the equipment and train personnel from the Palau Ministry of Health.

The test kits, supplies, and equipment are being flown to Palau via chartered aircraft. MOH paid for the chartered flight through grants and funding assistance.

MOH is also working closely with other partners to bring in additional COVID-19 testing supplies and rapid testing kits over the coming days and weeks

The Ministry also requested the Bureau of Public Works to construct specially modified containers at the Belau National Hospital. The modified containers will serve as a COVID-19 testing facility.

The two government bodies are also setting up quarantine facilities to house all incoming passengers who will be required to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. They are also working with numerous hoteliers in Palau that have offered their properties for this purpose.

NEC with MOH also adopted a revised COVID-19 prevention and preparation action plan. The plan includes the implementation of a dual screening and passenger flow control procedures and a mass quarantine protocol at the Palau International Airport.

According to NEC, the COVID-19 preparations are in line with the MOH’s directive and the Palau President’s latest Executive Order. The Palau National Government hopes to strengthen its public infrastructure and processes by April 9 in order to protect the community against the COVID-19 outbreak.