The Republic of the Marshall Islands on Wednesday reported its first two cases of the coronavirus.

According to a post on the RMI Ministry of Health and Human Services Facebook page, the two people have been identified on the Kwajalein Atoll military base that is run by the United States on land leased from the Marshallese.

“The National Disaster Committee, in close coordination with the President and Cabinet and USAG-KA, are rapidly responding to these cases and we can assure the public that these are strictly border cases and were discovered while these people were in quarantine, where they will remain until this time,” the RMI said in a statement.

The two people, a 35-year-old female and a 46-year-old male, arrived Tuesday on a direct flight from Honolulu to Kwajalein.

Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, where two people have been identified with COVID-19. Flickr

“Neither of the cases are symptomatic or showing signs of the virus,” said the RMI, which says there currently is no threat of community transmission.

According to a report from PNC Guam, the RMI ministry said that “with both cases contained under strict quarantine, there is no need to initiate a nation-wide lockdown at this point.”

As of mid-September, according to Al Jazeera, the Marshalls was one of 12 nations reporting no COVID-19. The others are the Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, North Korea, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Business Insider reported in August that there are doubts about the status of the coronavirus in North Korea and Turkmenistan, given the secretive nature of their governments. The publication also included the Cook Islands and Niue as being COVID-free.

Through a treaty with the United States, tens of thousands of Marshallese live and work in Hawaii and on the mainland.

Not a subscription

Civil Beat is a small nonprofit newsroom, and we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content because we believe in journalism as a public service.
 
That’s why donations from readers like you are essential to our continued existence.
 
Help keep our journalism free for all readers by becoming a monthly member of Civil Beat today.

About the Author