The government of Marshall Islands, a small nation in the South Pacific that had so far avoided the covid-19 pandemic, confirmed that it has detected the first cases of the new coronavirus in its territory.
Two workers at a US military base on Kwajalein Atoll tested positive for the virus after arriving on a military flight from Hawaii on Tuesday, Kino Kabua, the government’s chief secretary, said last night.
After more than six months being one of the few nations in the world without cases of covid-19 in its territoryKabua pointed out that neither of the two infected have had contact with people from the local community during their stay in the country.
The positives are a 35-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man who were quarantined Until further notice, the local government representative reported on her Facebook profile.
Both are asymptomatic cases and at least the woman had already tested positive for the virus at the end of July.
“There is no immediate risk of the virus spreading in the community. That is why, in response to recent cases, there will be no national lockdown measures and business and government operations will continue as normal,” Kabua said Thursday.
Marshall Islands, with fewer than 59,000 inhabitants spread over 29 atolls and five islands, it closed its international borders in March to avoid the pandemic, but at the end of July it was relaxing measures to allow the entry of some people, most of them workers from the US base.
Anyone entering this Pacific nation from another country must undergo a three-week quarantine.