Pohnpei State is one of the states in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). FSM is a sovereign nation with a Compact of Free Association with the United States Government that went into effect in 1986. The national capital is Palikir located in Pohnpei State. In 1991, FSM became a member of the United Nations.
FSM is made up of 607 small islands in the Western Pacific about 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii and northeast of Australia. Though the country’s total land mass is about 271 sq. miles, it spans over one million sq. miles of the Pacific Ocean. It has four States: Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap. Each State, except Kosrae, has groups of outer islands and atolls. There are eight native languages spoken in the country each with different dialects. English is spoken widely, understood by many, and used as working language in the government. According to the latest FSM Census, the population in 2010 was 102,843. Based on population projection, the population of the FSM in 2020 is 104,650. Pohnpei State population is 35.2% of the FSM population which is 36,196 people. About 5% of the population is 60 years or older.
The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19. COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by World Health Organization on 30 January 2020.
- Everyone is susceptible to COVID-19 infection, though children appear to be less affected
- Those with co-morbidities, including diabetes and hypertension, may have more severe outcomes following infection.
- There are no treatments currently available
- Social distancing measures are effective in slowing transmission of COVID-19