No MERS on Guam, a Korean Visitor Caused Fear Though.4
HSVG misson P.O. Box 206, Hagatna, GU 96932, USA
(01/17/2022)Did G20 learn lessons from the Delta? When the world welcomed 2022, many people were actually calling the new year “pandemic year 3.” If we have had it enough and do not want “pandemic year 4,” year 5 or year 6, let’s encourage Indonesian government step forward with its Group of 20 (G20) presidency to call for an international campaign helping people around the globe fearlessly live with the coronavirus and adopt the new normal as soon as possible. Quite a number of public health experts had advised before COVID vaccines became available that the human society was inevitably going to live with the coronavirus for a while and only sustainable measures would help everybody get through the pandemic. Unfortunately, most governments , with certain high-profile scientists and celebrities, put so much faith in lockdowns and looked forward to seeing COVID vaccines would work perfectly like a silver bullet even though, at that time, almost every vaccine developer was apparently targeting at lowering the numbers of severe patients and death victims instead of guaranteeing no infections after getting vaccinated. The Delta variant’s attack last summer was a wake-up call. Many countries, after enjoying reopening and sort of returning to normal brought by successful vaccine rollouts, experienced the Delta variant of the coronavirus caused a new wave of case surge, made hospitals overwhelmed again, and, sadly, took many people’s lives. It was the time that people started being familiar with a term called “breakthrough infections.” For example, Singapore surprisingly reported 28,901 new infections and 40 deaths in September 2021 after the vaccination rate was beyond 80%. Their COVID death number was zero in September 2020 when there was no CIVID vaccine at all. The epidemiological investigation and laboratory results concluded the changed situation was mainly caused by the Delta variant. Singapore was not the only place having a bad September last year. As of 31 August 2021, 80.43% of the residents 12 years and older were fully vaccinated, but Guam, an US island territory in the Pacific reported 47 COVID-related fatalities in September 2021. The figure was higher than the death number of 39 reported in September 2020 when no vaccine was available at that time. With almost the same land size, Guam is home of less than 200 thousand residents and Singapore has a population of 5.7 million. It means the highly-contagious Delta variant was influencing everywhere, no matter a busy and crowded city or a relaxed and rural place. In addition, obviously, vaccines alone are not suppressing the coronavirus. Europe’s experience reminded that nobody should drop his/her guard even thought the population reached a high vaccination rate. European Union has been leading its member states to keep precautions and try reopening in a gradual way. The continent has maintained a basically downward curve of infections as well as hospitalizations and deaths since its successful vaccine rollouts in association with well-managed medical capacity, even though the Delta variant did make a noticeable, but not really harmful, spike. However, it seemed that most parts of the world did not learn lessons from the Delta and implement proper measures when the Omicron came. The World Health Organization did not wait for sufficient morbidity and fatality data to be collected. Its warning message on the Omicron variant released late November last year triggered many countries’ panicked decisions of tightening COVID restrictions. It’s sad that South Africa’s variant identification efforts, which should have been appreciated, made its people punished by the almost worldwide travel ban. The wait wasn’t even long. Before last Christmas, at least three scientific researches caught the media’s attention and proved the Omicron variant may be much more contagious but it’s mostly causing mild cases. However, the chaos has hurt people. For example, Guam, which finally saw a little bit tourism recovery last November, immediately suffered from more than 5000 travel booking cancellations right after the Omicron panic widely spread. More variants will definitely come and we definitely do not want more chaos. While the Omicron has shown the new variants in the future are very likely to be less lethal and the COVID vaccines are actually promisingly reducing severe cases, plus the antiviral medicines are available, the whole world really needs a leadership that urges every jurisdiction to guide people fearlessly living with the virus by using more appropriate strategies to respond to every emerging variant. Let’s try to recall whether the system was encouraging people to get tested during the flu season to try to contain flu viruses. Were we worried so much when we experienced flu-like symptoms or got diagnosed as having flu? Wasn’t the goal of flu control to avoid severe complications and save people’s lives? The best tools helping us achieve the goal are always personal hygiene and flu vaccines although so-called “breakthrough infections” did happen to flu vaccines as well. COVID is not flu, but flu control experience could apply to COVID response, especially to the current situation of “pandemic year 3,” a year that G20 presidency returns to Asia, where people totally have no issue with wearing a mask and helped prove this measure could effectively prevent COVID spread. Indonesian government needs to work with its G20 partners and make history.(Published in The Jakarta Post on January 11, 2022) http://www.hsvg.org/hot_414422.html Did G20 learn lessons from Delta variant? 2022-01-17 2023-01-17
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(June 17, 2015)

A red flag went up at Guam International Airport on June 12 when a visitor from South Korea tried to board a Jeju Airlines flight back to Korea. The South Korea government placed him on a watch list because he was treated for a broken finger at a hospital in South Korea where they were treating a MERS patients.


It's unclear how the Korean man was allowed to board a plane to Guam despite being on the watch list. Shortly after 11 p.m., CDC officials contacted local health officials regarding the tourist. Guam's pandemic alert systems went into place immediately. He and his family were contained, and doctors confirmed he does not have the virus.


Please refer to the press release from the Governor of Guam below:

UPDATE: No MERS here. Enjoy this sunny day in good health.

A release from the Governor of Guam w Contact Julius Santos at 475-9379 or Julius.Santos@Guam.gov


There are no cases of MERS on Guam.

Those spreading false information should be taken to task for causing panic and fear among families and tourists. There was one man, a visitor from South Korea, who​ was checked and does not have MERS. A red flag went up yesterday when he tried to board a Jeju Airlines flight back to Korea. The island's pandemic alert systems went into place immediately, he and his family were contained, and doctors confirmed he does not have the virus.


As a precaution, doctors are watching this man in quarantine. His family went back to Korea. The man has no symptoms. He is contained, doesn't even have a cold, isn't coughing or sneezing, has no fever, and IS NOT contagious. There is no danger of public exposure.


The government of Guam and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are working together out of an abundance of caution to keep the people of Guam and all her visitors safe and healthy.​

The South Korea government placed him on a watch list because he was treated for a broken finger at a hospital in South Korea where they were treating a MERS patients.


Public Health officials on Guam are working with Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Hawaii, Atlanta and South Korea. Shortly after 11 p.m. yesterday, CDC officials contacted local health officials regarding the tourist. They want to confirm his proximity to the MERS patients at the South Korea hospital where he was treated as an outpatient.


It is important to note that these measures are precautionary and that NO case of the virus has been reported on island.


What you can do to help keep you and your family safe


The public is urged to practice routine precautions that help prevent the spread of any type of respiratory illness, including MERS-CoV:

Wash your hands often with soap and water, and help young children do the same;

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash;

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;

Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, or sharing cups or eating utensils, with sick people; and

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.


When Should Someone See a Health Care Provider?


You should see a healthcare provider if you develop a fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after traveling from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula or South Korea.  Make sure to tell the healthcare provider about your recent travel.


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Related news:

Guam airport Ready for MERS: Agency says it's following CDC guidelines