28 Apr 2020

CNMI tourism numbers reduced to zero due to Covid-19 pandemic

6:51 am on 28 April 2020

The Northern Marianas' governor has conceded the toll the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the local economy, with tourism numbers reduced to zero.

But Ralph Torres said residents' health took precedence over all else, as he acknowledged there would be tough months ahead.

CNMI Governor Ralp DLG Torres.

CNMI Governor Ralp DLG Torres. Photo: Office of the Governor of CNMI

"Right now, health takes precedence over anything else. We have made decisions based only on what we believe is right."

"This pandemic is filled with unknowns, but what is known is the aggressive response efforts we are taking to flatten the curve more than the rest of the world," Mr Torres said.

The territory's economy has already contracted, and the government has introduced harsh austerity measures as revenue plummets.

Mr Torres also confirmed a Covid-19 taskforce is nearly ready to conduct mass testing, with the recent arrival of 60,000 test kits from South Korea.

Hospitalised patients, healthcare workers, first responders, the elderly, government employees and federal worekrs will be first in line for tests.