Governor thanks NMI people for ‘flattening the curve’

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GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Friday expressed his deep appreciation to the public “for stepping up and giving us this flattened curve.”

“I want to thank the community for how they have been receptive to the directives and…being part of the reopening [of the NMI],” he said in an online press conference aired Friday on KKMP radio.

He noted that the CNMI was projected to have over 6,500 confirmed Covid-19 cases at the end of May.

As of May 30, the CNMI had reported 22 confirmed cases, 15 recoveries, and two deaths.

“I just cannot emphasize enough how critical our community has been [in making] the CNMI a place that we all can call home. But I want to remind everyone that the directives that we still have in place were based on the recommendations of our healthcare professionals [and in consultation with] private partners,” the governor said.

He added, “I know that we have lifted a lot [of the restrictions], but again, we are doing it a little at a time. We need to understand that when we lift these directives, everyone needs to continue social distancing whether it is at the beach or in another public area. Let us follow the directives and not take [them] for granted.”

Torres also praised healthcare professionals and first responders for the sacrifices they have made and continue to make in light of a global health crisis.

“If you see your healthcare professionals out there…or any of the first responders... please give them a shout-out,” he said.

Joining the governor in the online press conference were Covid-19 Task Force Chairman Warren Villagomez and Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna. They discussed various concerns raised by the community, including the resumption of flights from Guam, as well as the work being done by the administration and the private sector to prepare for the July 15 reopening of the CNMI tourism industry.

“From now to July 15, our business partners [and] our tourism industry will see whether the CNMI is ready to receive tourists again,” the governor said.

Muna, Villagomez, and other health professionals in the CNMI will do everything they can to work with the private sector so everyone can “understand ‘the new norm’ and welcome tourists while observing social distancing,” Torres said.

Villagomez, for his part, said the preparations for the July 15 target date include procuring thermal scanners for large entryways and other pertinent areas of local businesses.

He noted that the Commonwealth Ports Authority has already acquired a thermal scanner to scan inbound passengers.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure that our tourists as well as our residents feel comfortable when they go to places, whether to government [offices] or private [establishments],” the governor said.

“Everybody is on board to make sure that we get the best quality equipment and supplies from the airport down to our tourist sites and business partners,” he added.

The governor’s Covid-19 press briefings on KKMP are held at 8 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and can be viewed on the Facebook page of radio host Gary Sword.

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