Pacific coronavirus: Guam still region’s hot spot with 55 cases

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Public beaches remain open and outdoor activity, such as walking, running and hiking, is permitted during the government of Guam's coronavirus shutdown - provided there are no gatherings of 50 or more people. Image: Rick Cruz/Pacific Daily News

By RNZ Pacific

Guam remains the Pacific pandemic hot spot with the number of Covid-19 coronavirus cases climbing above 50.

On Friday six people tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to 51. Later, a further four took the total to 55.

Thirteen of the cases are currently in hospital.

READ MORE: Al Jazeera live updates – US confirmed coronavirus cases top 100,000

Last week, a 68-year-old woman became the first Covid-19 death in the Pacific region.

There are also at least 36 people from the USS Theodore Roosevelt who have tested positive for Covid-19 which is docked in Guam.

Figures on the military aircraft carrier were not included in the US territory’s official count.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt had more than 5000 people on board.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt
The USS Theodore Roosevelt … cases on board not counted in Guam’s official case list. Image: US Navy/RNZ Pacific

Aircraft carrier quarantined
Governor Lou Leon Guerrero said the ship docked at the furthest dock from the port and would be restricted to the pier.

“Please be assured that we are containing the situation,” Leon Guerrero said.

“They won’t even go to the base. They are just quarantined in the pier area.”

Pacific Covid-19 summary
Pacific Covid-19 summary 28 March 2020. Graphic: ABC

The governor said despite the new positive cases it did seem efforts to “flatten the curve” were working.

“I would like that trajectory to be a little bit flatter, and we are actually looking at it starting to (flatten), but we need to do more aggressive actions and reinforce what we are doing.”

On March 14, Leon Guerrero declared a public health emergency.

She had also issued several executive orders to close non-essential businesses, government agencies, parks and beaches and for people to limit physical.

Appeal for test kits
The governor had also appealed to Washington for test kits and financial assistance.

She said a US Senate package including US$111 million in direct assistance was expected soon.

Yesterday, Washington announced it would help US Pacific states and territories to build their on-island testing capability for Covid-19.

A sum of $US858,924 was allocated to obtain new testing kits and a diagnostic machine for each state and territory.

This article is republished by the Pacific Media Centre under a partnership agreement with RNZ.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP – don’t show up at a medical centre.
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