22 Feb 2021

Highest number of covid cases in one day for Marianas

9:03 am on 22 February 2021

The Northern Marianas has experienced its largest number of Covid-19 cases in a single day with eight new cases reported on Saturday.

There have now been 143 coronavirus infections in the Marianas since the territory reported its first case in March 2020.

Health authorities say all eight people were identified by travel screening and confirmed through testing upon arrival.

They have been moved to the designated isolation area for monitoring and contact tracing has begun.

A Covid-19 vaccination site on Saipan in the Northern Marianas. January 2021.

A Covid-19 vaccination site on Saipan in the Northern Marianas. January 2021. Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Mark Rabago

There are now 15 people in isolation although the Marianas has had no local transmission for nearly 190 days.

Out of the 143 total cases, 117 were identified by travel screening.

Korean bubble in waiting stage

The Northern Marianas tourism industry will have to wait with a planned travel bubble still pending a decision from the South Korean government.

An exclusive arrangement between two jurisdictions is being worked on to allow an exchange of travellers between the two.

The Marianas Visitors Authority (MVA) said the travel bubble between the Marianas and Korea remained pending because the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport has yet to respond to the Marianas' request.

The travel bubble is also contingent on the go-signal from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

The MVA is also talking about starting the process to launch a travel bubble with Japan.