Guam has 3 confirmed cases of Covid-19

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HAGÅTÑA — Guam has three confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection as of Sunday, Gov. Lourdes Leon Guerrero said, warning that more cases are anticipated.

Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero holds a press conference at the Guam Homeland Security Office on Sunday regarding the three confirmed cases of Covid-9 on Guam.  Photo by Mar-Vic Cagurangan

The first two patients are both local residents who traveled to the Philippines and came back to Guam on a United Airlines flight on Feb. 29 (not March 2 as earlier reported), while the third patient has no known travel history, but has a family member who recently returned from Japan.

The three are currently in isolation at the Guam Memorial Hospital.

Leon Guerrero said she is confident GMH is capable to handle the situation.

She said the Department of Public Health and Social Services, the Guam Homeland Security, and Guam Customs and Quarantine have begun investigating and tracing passengers who were on the same flight and people who may have been in contact with the infected patients.

“If you were on this flight and have flu-like symptoms, stay home and contact your doctors,” the governor said at a hastily called press conference at the Guam Homeland Security office. “This is what we have prepared for. While we must expect more cases, everything that can be done is being done.”

While Guam does not have the authority to impose a travel ban, the governor urged residents to avoid travel to the Philippines and other affected areas.

“If you travel to Manila, I urge you to self-quarantine for no less than 14 days,” Leon Guerrero said.

The governor also mandates the cancellation of community events and social gatherings with more than 100 people.

The governor is scheduled to meet with public and private school administrators on Monday to discuss how to proceed. “The community will be updated if there is a change in guidance,” the Joint Information Center said.

The three confirmed cases on Sunday were among the five samples tested at the Guam Public Health Laboratory in Tamuning. Two met the Persons Under Investigation criteria and three were Surveillance Cases. Three tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, according to the Joint Information Center.

A total of 14 tests have been performed at the public health laboratory since March 12. Eleven patients tested negative for the virus.

“DPHSS, along with the Guam Memorial Hospital, is working as rapidly as possible to identify close contacts of the cases. Close contacts may include family members and co-workers who will be quarantined and actively monitored by Public Health for 14 days after their last contact with the case. DPHSS will release additional information as it becomes available,” Guam Homeland Security said in a release.

Due to professional development, there are no classes for all Guam Department of Education schools on Monday.

“We have been preparing for this and we are ready to respond. Let’s not surrender to fear and panic. Stay calm, stay informed, and do your part to protect yourself and others as we address this public health issue together,” Governor Leon Guerrero said.

In the meantime, the governor urged residents to practice social distancing and basic hygiene.

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