For Immediate Release
8 August 2022
Key Message from the Office of the President
“Iokwe and Greetings to All,
Firstly, I wish to thank our Heavenly Father for blessing us with our beautiful island home, the Marshall Islands, for life and for good health.
I take this opportunity to pay utmost respect to you my fellow Marshallese citizens here in the Marshall Islands and as well all of you abroad. At this time, I have the duty to inform the general public that as of earlier this evening at 6:00 pm, the Ministry of Health has confirmed six cases of Covid-19 diagnosed here in Majuro. All cases are from individuals within the community and thus represent community transmission.
These individuals presented with mild symptoms e.g. sore throat, runny nose, etc. to the out-patient department of the Majuro Hospital.
Furthermore, while all cases notified today have been localized to Majuro, the MOHHS, however, cannot rule out the possibility of transmission outside of Majuro.
The National Conditional Level Red has been activated. This denotes a condition of community transmission of Covid-19.
The public should rest assured that the Ministry of Health & Human Services (MOHHS) and the whole government under the umbrella of the National Disaster Committee has been planning for this situation for some time. The MOHHS has already initiated the re-orientation of health services on Majuro to respond to this epidemiological situation and the various clusters under the NDC have also been activated.
As a containment measure, all travel to the Neighboring islands has been temporarily suspended. All members of the community are encouraged not to panic. Individuals who have been vaccinated and boosted typically experience mild symptoms and have significant protection against severe disease and death. General measures the public needs to employ include;
Alternative Care Sites will be established in the community around Majuro in the coming days. The sites will serve as community test and treat facilities, where individuals can access Covid-19 testing and treatment. Effective therapeutics are available and will be offered to individuals at a moderate to high risk of severe disease. Public cooperation is essential at this point in time.”
Ilo juon kweilọk an National Disaster Committee eo ilo jinoin June 2022 eo, jet week alikkin an kilok registration link nan Program in Karool tok Armej nan allon in June, ear allikar ke oran armej ro raar maroñin register in rool tok ilo allon in June eo ear lukun lon im obrak jen jonaan jikin quarantine ko Aelon Kein.
Ilo an driwoj Link in Register eo an June ilo raan in kar 20 May 2022, STP working group eo ear loe jonan an lon jen jonan armej raar register itubwilijin 4 wot awa ko. Kon men in ear allikar ke emenin aikuj bwe Link in Register eo en kilok. Ear bar allikar ke jonan armej eo ear lap an lon jen jonan jikin quarantine ko ilo Kwajalein im Majuro kon jonan in 40-50 armej.
Waween in ear walok kon jet un ko im jaar jab maroñin loi ilo tore eo ear belok registration enot: Ilo an armej register, ej walok wot etan armej eo ej kanne online form eo, ijoke, emaroñ wor armej rej dependent im kamman bwe en lon lok jen juon armej ilo registration form; bar juon un ej an kar kilok jet room in quarantine ko ilo ion Kwajalein en im kamman bwe en ieet jikin jokwe jen oran ro raar register nan rool tok ilo June.
Kon men in, ewor ro im raar register im emoj aer kollaik wonean quarantine ko aer nan June ak raar jab maroñin itok, emoj lelok er nan allon in July kon tarrin in 40 lok nan 50 armej ro. Ilo an NDC kile ke elap an ieet jikin quarantine ilo Majol in, jerbal in kapok jikin quarantine bwe en maroñin rool tok aolep ro nukur im mottar ej wonmaanlok wot ilo tore in.
Aolep ro raar konaan register in rool tok ilo allon in July naj aikujin kōttar nan driwojtok eo an Registration Link eo an August. Kotemen bwe link in enaj driwoj tok ilo allon in July.
Kajitōk kijenmej im burokuk eo an ao aolep ilo an group in jerbal, ilo ad kōjparok jukjuk in bed ko ad ilo Aelon Kein.
Nan melele ko, jouj im loe lok www.ndmo.gov.mh im lale https://ndmo.gov.mh/rmi-safe-travels-program/.
In a National Disaster Committee Meeting held in the early days of June 2022, a few weeks after the June registration link for the month of June was closed, it became apparent that the amount of people registered to return with in the month of June, was so much more than the amount of quarantine spaces in the RMI.
When the Registration Link for June came on 20th of May 2022, the STP working group saw a surge in registrations after the link was posted, forcing the team to close the registration link in just 4 hours. The surge in registration indicated that more people had registered than the amount of quarantine spaces available in Kwajalein and Majuro.
The June overspill of registration issue was due to contributing factors such as that when someone registers, their completed forms also contained within it, a list of dependents that are to travel with the registeree, causing what looks like one registration form to actually contain 1 or more other people within the registration. As well, closure of previously used quarantine spaces in Kwajalein are now closed and not able to accommodate the usual amount of people as previous incoming STP groups.
With this, not all persons registered to arrive in June were able to be confirmed. Those 40-50 people were pushed back to the July STP group thus taking up the spaces for July’s incoming group.
People interested in entering the country in July will now have to register for the August STP group. Link for August Registration is anticipated to be released towards the end of July.
The NDC and Safe Travels Working Groups asks the public for continued support in ensuring safety for the RMIs communities.
Please visit https://ndmo.gov.mh/rmi-safe-travels-program/ for information on the RMI’s Safe Travels Program.
RMI Government Implements 0 day pre Travel Quarantine
Kin recommendations ko jen National Disaster Committee (NDC) eo, emoj an Cabinet eo an RMI jolok aikuj eo bwe en wor quarantine mokta jen an juon armej naj ketok nan Majol in. Karok in emoj an ella jen Cabinet ilo kweilọk eo an ine, Monday, 30 May 2022. NDC ear komelele non Cabinet ke United Airlines ekar kalikar non NDC ejab maron wonmanlok wot kin karak in ‘bubble travel’ eo ibben United Airlines. Kin menin, ejako an UA kajenolok juon jikin an paajinjia ro an RMI make check in, security check line ejenolọk ilo TSA, etc. Aolep armej ekopa tourists ro im ro rej ekake nan jikin ko jet, rej koba ibben dron ilo airport eo Honolulu kio im emakitkit ibben dron.
Protocol kaal in ilo an naj ejelok quarantine ilikin Majol ej effective ak jino ilo Monday, 30 May 2022.
PROTOCOL NAN zero (0) days pre travel quarantine:
Mokta jen ekaake im kakolkol ko (Pre-travel staging and testing):
Ewor juon eo ej jerbal ippan Safe Travel Program (STP) working group eo nan jiban ro rej pojak in katok nan RMI. Armej in ej jerbal ipan United Airlines nan jiban komakiti armej ro emoj aer clear teej ko aer nan aer ketok nan Majol.
Airport check-in and air travel
Maaj ko im ikkutkut kwal peim rej jet bunton ko im rej aikuj bok jikier ilo aolep tureen makitkit ko an juon riTravel, jen airport eo ilo HNL nan ion baluun eo tok.
Quarantine in the RMI
COVID-19 therapeutics will be offered to border cases of COVID-19 (anti-retroviral and monoclonal antibodies as appropriate)
The RMI Government has eliminated pre travel quarantine outside of RMI
At its meeting yesterday, 30 May 2022, Cabinet approved the NDC’s recommendation to eliminate pre-quarantine requirements outside the RMI. The ‘travel bubble’ that GRMI had in place at the Honolulu airport i.e. dedicated check in counter, processing through TSA, and dedicated flight for RMI bound passengers only, are no longer in place as United had advised NDC they could not sustain these operations and were stopped a few months back. Members of Cabinet, Nitijela and NDC who have been on recent official travel and returned, advised and confirmed that there is no “travel bubble” at the Honolulu airport as normal operations at the airport have resumed with lots of travelers mingling and mixing in the terminal, through TSA screening, etc.
The outlined protocol below, put together by Director of Public Health (MOHHS) and supported by NDC, is designed to detect border quarantine cases and keep COVID-19 out of the RMI community. These protocols complement operational protocols for running a COVID-19 quarantine and isolation facility. The following protocols will be applied with the elimination of pre-quarantine outside the RMI, effective Monday, 30 May 2022.
Pre-travel staging and testing
Testing and coordination of travelers to be facilitated by an external medical provider contracted to the STP. The provider will also coordinate with United Airlines for individuals cleared to mobilize to the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Airport check-in and air travel
Face masks and good hand hygiene practice are required to be maintained throughout airport transit and air conveyance.
Quarantine in the RMI
Pacific Resilience Program (PREP) II RMI Impact Story 1: Development of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP): Connecting the Youth in the NAP Process
The Pacific Resilience Project is supporting the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (GoRMI) to strengthen the integration of the climate and disaster resilience agenda, and to embed it into the national and subnational planning and resource allocation systems. Through this NAP Impact Story, awareness of the project, knowledge and youth inclusivity is captured describing the important role of youth in the RMI NAP development process.
In September 2018, as part of its 2050 Climate Strategy, the GoRMI committed to the development of a NAP to sit in parallel with its commitment to reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions through its Electricity Roadmap. The NAP focuses on contributing towards enhancing the resilience of RMI to climate change under the PREP II Project.
The NAP is recognized as a ‘plan for survival’ under the expected impacts of climate change and its primary driver is a focus on self-determination supported by observation, knowledge, and science. It serves as the acting instrument to mobilize financial resources, focusing on climate change activities.
“The “Survival Plan” will help the RMI by providing a pathway for the people and multiple stakeholders all over the country through information; by listening to their concerns and putting their voice into the plan. The NAP is the benchmark that sets the scene for the future and how we will go about getting there for example, how to finance the implementation of the NAP, and how to make that vision come to life” says Mr. Broderick Menke, who is the National Adaptation Plan Coordinator from the RMI.
When asked how the NAP will reduce the climate risks that Marshallese face, Mr. Menke went on to say, “If we were to mobilize financial resources, we would be able to address the needs that RMI people face and address the gaps that are in the Government that could help the people of the RMI better tie in their issues and tie in what they need. This also prioritizes climate change activities as indicated by sectors across the RMI so we would be able to prioritize and then finance these adaptation needs. We’d be able to put vision into implementation, by implementation we took what the people and key sectors of the Government prioritized and put it into reality.”
The NAP’s consultative process is a specific process building on existing strategies. The RMI’s NAP document adopts a bottom-up approach mainly focusing on the priority of climate change adaptation activities that we want and would like to establish as priority in the RMI. “We would be able to set out aspects of what the NAP entails and tell them this is what we want so they can use that as a guide to move forward” added Mr. Menke. The NAP will be the information guide for big policymakers.
The youth of RMI are one of the important stakeholders in the development of the NAP. They are the ones that are highly vulnerable to climate change and they will be the future decision makers when it comes to adaptation measures being taken by RMI. Their involvement in the implementation of the NAP will benefit their understanding of effects of Climate Changes with regards to RMI, and their future roles as future leaders as they will one day be implementing the measures detailed in the NAP.
Mr. Broderick Menke
National Adaptation Plan Coordinator
Mr. Menke added “We want our youth to be better than us and always be interactive and be the face of change in our society through the adaptation process (and more) and we want to make that as transparent as possible and give them that ability to transform themselves into what we want them to become. And being that we all were youth once, it’s important to give them the same opportunities, experiences, and the type of exposure that we were given in our early years and to pass on the torch to our future generations.”
Mr. Menke recommends that not just the youth but all vulnerable groups should be able to read and understand the NAP, to ensure that they’re included and that their voices will be heard. “The NAP is a living document, so we should try and put things where they need to be and put their perspective in too. And I always encourage everybody to pick something up and put in their two cents if necessary” Mr. Menke says.
A lesson learned throughout the NAP process is that community engagement is very important. Involving vulnerable stakeholders, everyone, and the youth specifically in the implementation of the NAP is crucial in resilience building.
The PREP II RMI project is an initiative of the GoRMI in agreement with the World Bank and the Global Climate Fund (GCF) which aims to support RMI in strengthening early warning and preparedness, resilient investments, and financial protection against disasters.
Towards the end of the interview, I asked Mr. Menke what makes his work day successful, to which he answered: “A successful work day is working through a conflict. Mitigating yourself and waiting through a conflict and making sure you don’t leave the workplace unanswered. You want to always ensure that you get to a resolution prior to leaving so that you don’t bother yourself at the end of the day and do work at home and get your personal life, business life, professional life intertwined.”