Marianas Variety

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    Wednesday, November 20, 2019-4:16:10P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Dengue continues spreading in Marshall Islands

MAJURO — Dengue cases in the Marshall Islands passed the 1,000 mark this week as the government extended its national state of health emergency for another month in an effort to control the outbreak.

Ebeye Island, where the outbreak started in July, has gone over two weeks without any new cases as of Thursday this week, according to health authorities. But the number of cases continues to rise in Majuro and has spread to at least two outer islands despite the government’s ban on passenger travel ban to remote islands.

On Nov. 1, 21 dengue cases were identified in Majuro, the highest one-day total since the outbreak in Majuro started in August.

The cabinet has extended the state of health emergency for the Marshall Islands for another month. The emergency order will stay in effect until December 1, including the ongoing passenger travel ban to outer islands.

Acting President Jack Ading signed the extension directive Nov. 1.

A Japan Self-Defense Force aircraft delivered aid last week to the Marshall Islands, including mosquito nets and repellants, to fight the ongoing dengue outbreak in the Marshall Islands.  Embassy of Japan photoA Japan Self-Defense Force aircraft delivered aid last week to the Marshall Islands, including mosquito nets and repellants, to fight the ongoing dengue outbreak in the Marshall Islands. Embassy of Japan photo

The 21 dengue cases recorded in Majuro on Nov. 1 was the cap of a week that saw a rising number of dengue infections: Tuesday 7, Wednesday 9, Thursday 14. The number dropped to eight Saturday, the most recent day for which statistics are available.

The health emergency extension notes that “case counts are still on the rise in the Marshall Islands, with new cases reported in the outer atolls of Utrok and Aur.”

As of Nov. 1, the Ministry of Health had recorded 983 suspected and confirmed cases of dengue throughout the country. Secretary of Health Jack Niedenthal has confirmed the dengue count has passed 1,000.

The Ministry of Health also issued a new rule as part of enforcing the travel ban to the outer islands. The ministry last week issued a new rule that authorizes a fine or jail term for individuals who violate the state of health emergency travel ban. This follows the attorney general issuing a citation to a local government mayor for violating the travel ban.

“A person who violates any State of Emergency Order currently enforced or extended in the next 120 days shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding $500 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both,” states the new rule issued by Niedenthal.