PALIKIR, POHNPEI – February 14, 2020. The 21st Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia has adopted a resolution amending the January 31 Public Health Declaration by President David W. Panuelo on the current novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) outbreak.
After two days of debate and an oversight hearing with the appropriate officials including the Coronavirus Task Force, on February 12, 2020, the Congress adopted Congressional Resolution 21-117 to amend certain terms of the Public Health Declaration on coronavirus as issued on January 31st.
Pursuant to its constitutional authority to extend, revoke or amend a Presidential declaration of emergency, the Congress adopted CR 21-117 which, among other things:
- Extended the Declaration from 30 days to 60 days;
- Provided access to $700,000 of emergency funds to respond to the health emergency;
- Lifted the travel ban and quarantine requirements for countries other than China; and
- Authorized the President to reimpose the travel ban if called for pursuant to World Health Organization guidelines
While the travel ban has been lifted, the Congress continue to urge the national government to ramp up its screening, detection and quarantine activities at the Nation’s entry ports, and for residents to continue to exercise proper hygienic practices.
While lengthy discussions, debates and information gathering went into the adoption of the resolution, Senator Peter M. Christian, one of most senior members of the Congress offered on the floor a background to the resolution, “We witnessed the explosion of the CORONAVIRUS around the globe. We closed our doors until its determined to be safe to look outside, and then we stepped outside of the protection of our home to move forward with the clean-up of the aftermath of the explosion. Congress considered empirical data and has taken steps to protect our citizens from the Coronavirus and to protect our citizens from the collapse of our economy.”
The resolution in its entirety can be accessed through:
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THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS