Live Covid drill hits Majuro

375375Majuro held a Covid-19 “live” exercise August 14. The exercise was to get an idea of how authorities would respond if Marshall Islands were to get a positive case.

This was a learning moment for hospital staff, IOM, airport staff, bus drivers, police, National Disaster Management Office, and everyone else involved. This exercise started off at the airport, where in the scenario, there were hospital staff testing people who just arrived on Majuro. Nurses practiced how to ask the questions, getting samples into the container.

Meanwhile in the scenario, one of the passengers had been coughing and was taken to the isolation ward at the hospital.

After taking samples from the passenger to be tested at the hospital, the person was immediately taken to Arrak campus for quarantine. The patients were briefed on what would be happening. The quarantine site is ready with great bed, bathroom, a ready laundry room and meals are served everyday. The Wifi works perfectly.

The scenario then jumped 72 hours later and one of the patients escaped the quarantine facility. Authorities later found the woman who escaped and took her to the isolation ward after she fainted and traced where she went and who she had contact with.

Throughout the exercise, there were evaluators who took notes of what could be improved, what was done wrong, what they thought was a great idea or not. At the end of the day, everyone involved during the exercise gathered at ICC to share his or her thoughts on what could be improved or could have been done differently.

US Army Garrison — Kwajalein Atoll senior officials, including Commander Col. Jeremy Bartel, were also on hand to participate in the exercise.

In other Covid-19 news:
• Two fishermen escaped early morning August 16 from the Ministry of Health’s Arrak quarantine facility, requiring police to pick them up and return them to quarantine. Authorities in both the Ministry of Health and at the Office of the Chief Secretary say that the two were only out for a couple of hours and were rounded up quickly. They had tested negative for Covid-19 at the beginning of their 14-day quarantine and were re-tested immediately after police apprehended them and returned them to the facility early Sunday morning. Their tests were negative.

After leaving the Arrak facility, the men reportedly walked to Laura and made a purchase at a local takeout that was open overnight. The store cashier recognized them, realizing they were supposed to be in quarantine and called police, triggering their relatively quick pick up by police, according to RMI officials involved in the situation.

The two who escaped are among 15 fishermen currently in various stages of quarantine at Arrak. These are Marshallese who work on locally-based commercial fishing vessels.

• A total of 124 people have arrived at Kwajalein beginning June 9 through August 11 as part of an ongoing repatriation program primarily for US Army Garrison — Kwajalein Atoll workers prevented from returning to the RMI by the government’s border closure.

The 124 are mostly workers at USAG-KA, but also includes four non-USAG-KA workers bound for Majuro through the August 11 repatriation group. Those four include a US Embassy staff member, two Australian Navy officials, and Member of Nitijela from Mili Wilbur Heine.
Another group of 15 arrived Tuesday this week and is not included in the 124.


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