Islands move quickly on Covid-19 vaccine outreach

On a per capita basis, the islands have higher vaccine rates than many states in the US, said the Marshall Islands Health Secretary in Majuro.

In the first 10 days since receiving a small number of doses to start, the Marshall Islands injected first vaccines to over 600 healthcare workers and front line government employees who work in sea and airports.

The US government is providing the Moderna brand Covid-19 vaccines to the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.

First batch of Covid vaccines arrive in Palau

Health minister Emais Roberts said 2,800 doses of the Moderna vaccine arrived on a special flight from the United States.

"Vaccines arrived," Roberts said in a text message.

He said the ministry would start using the vaccine from 3 January, with health workers first in line to receive the jabs. Following that, the ministry said it would look to vaccinate key officials and decision makers, then the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.

Surangel Whipps Jr to be Palau's new president

Whipps's opponent in this week's election, outgoing Vice President Raynold Oilouch, has conceded the presidential race

The Pacific Island Times reported the concession came although there are still at least 2,000 absentee ballots still to be tabulated next week.

All votes cast in Palau had been tabulated by Wednesday night.

Preliminary results showed Whipps with a lead of 1,202 votes over Oilouch, who said Palauans had clearly chosen their new president.

Nauru stands strong with Micronesia during coronavirus pandemic

“Mr. President we have travelled some 3000miles albeit in the midst of a global pandemic with border restrictions, but we have been inspired by our COVID Free Micronesia; which through the Grace of God, we continue to enjoy today,” President Aingimea said in his opening statement at the Micronesian Presidents Summit in Palau.

“We imagined, we discussed and we planned for this meeting…, we imagined that we could do it, we discussed that we could do it, planned that we could do it because we are in a Micronesian free area and we are in a travel bubble that allowed us to do this.”

Palau shores up defence for likely Covid-19 cases

On Sunday, the National Emergency Committee (NEC) said all hands were working on "developing and implementing plans and measures to better prepare and prevent the entry and spread of Covid-19."

On Friday, the construction of a Covid-19 testing facility began and was expected to be completed this week.

The NEC and the Ministry of Health were also working with numerous hoteliers that had offered their properties as isolation sites for passengers' 14-day quarantine.

Palau closes schools for two weeks as COVID-19 measure

The government said this was a preventive measure despite Palau being coronavirus -free.

The move was also seen as a response to the public outcry following the Ministry of Education's previous announcement that schools would be open amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

However President Tommy Remengesau Junior did not advocate for a restricted movement order of government employees.

He said government offices would remain open and employees would still need to go to work except when sick.

Palau bans toxic sunscreens

Palau, known as an underwater wonder is also home to healthy reefs.

The ban are for sunscreens that contain chemicals including oxybenzone, octocylene, 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor and parabens and triclosan which is found in most common sunscreen products in the market.

In a press statement, Palau's President Tommy Remengesau said "the harmful effects of chemical sunscreen are well-documented by scientists around the world, and that includes our local experts."


Palau to host 2025 Pacific Mini Games

The Micronesian country previously hosted the Games in 2005 and plan to refurbish most of their existing facilities over the next few years.

The President of the Palau Olympic Committee, Frank Kyota, said the successful bid was the result of a lot of preparation and hard work over the last 18-20 months.

Palau, Samoa vie for 2025 Mini Games hosting

Samoa and Palau met the Jan. 14 deadline for the submission of bids and their documents will be subjected for evaluation by the executive board of the Pacific Games Council.

An evaluation report will be then sent to the 23-member island nations mid May, while the winning bid will be announced on July 14 during the group’s general assembly in Apia.


Six people isolated as Palau fights to beat dengue

Health minister Imaes Roberts said those in hospital are not in a critical condition and there have been no deaths related to the latest dengue type 3 outbreak which was detected last month.

Mr Roberts said five people died from the mosquito borne disease in 2016 but he said he's confident the latest outbreak will be contained.

He said the public has taken preventative measures against mosquitoes but says recent rain has not helped.

He praised the public's response to clean-up and awareness campaigns regarding preventative measures against mosquitoes.