PUI in Yap dies; state government enforces curfew

Henry S. Falan, the Governor of the State of Yap, FSM (PNC file photo)

A PUI in isolation at Yap State has died. The patient was one of three Persons Under Investigation for COVID-19 in Yap, Federated States of Micronesia.

According to the Yap State Government, the patient did not have any off-island travel history but was sent to isolation upon arrival at the state hospital on April 14 with severe respiratory distress.

“He passed away at 1:00 a.m. the following morning from pneumonia, which is associated with most COVID-19 deaths,” the state government reported.

Two of the PUIs arrived in Yap from Guam on March 18. They were quarantined at the Yap Sports Complex for 14 days and later required to remain in self-quarantine at home for an additional 14 days.

According to the Yap state government, the three PUIs were found to be non-compliant with the self-quarantine requirement and were seen moving throughout the community during that time.

The two PUIs are now in isolation at the state hospital.

According to the Yap State Government, specimens were collected from all three patients and sent to Guam for COVID-19 testing. The government is expecting the results to be released within 24 to 48 hours.

The state government also started contact tracing to identify those who may have been in contact with the three PUIs.

As of this week, there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Yap and the rest of the FSM.

Curfew in Yap

In response, Yap State Governor Henry Falan enforced a curfew across the state.

“As a result of this latest development,” Falan said, “I have issued a ‘Restrictions on Movement of People Decree’  to prevent movement of all residents of Yap between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., seven days a week until such time as the restrictions are reviewed.”

“We have been very fortunate to have no confirmed cases in Yap so far. But, we have been forced to issue this order because our prior requests for people to stay home and practice social distancing and avoid mass gatherings have not been effective,” Falan added.

Members of Yap’s Council of Pilung signed the decree. The traditional council oversees issues of culture and tradition in the state.

Yap recently issued a state emergency declaration on March 25. It was amended to include the decree.