Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation

Covid-19 cases in the CNMI rise to 125

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) said the recent case was identified by travel screening and confirmed through testing upon arrival.

It said the person was moved to the designated isolation area for close monitoring.

It also added that it has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts of the new confirmed case, including passengers on the same flight.

Out of the 125 total Covid-19 cases, 99 were identified by travel screening while 26 were local transmissions.

There are currently three persons in isolation.

Impasse over Northern Marianas budget

If it is not resolved and the government does not submit a budget within 20 days then the territory risks a government shutdown.

The impasse is over 2.5 million US dollars earmarked for the Visitors Authority, which the Senate hopes to re-appropriate to buy an X-ray machine for the Customs department and pay a portion of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation's debt to the Utilities Corporation.

Both houses have sought a legal opinion from the Attorney General's Office.

They have also adopted a budget sum of $145,829,375, after the deductions of earmarked funds.

Renewed push for sugary drinks tax in CNMI

The Non-Communicable Disease Alliance wants the Saipan member of the House of Representatives Felicidad Ogumoro to re-file a new version of a bill to discourage people from buying the drinks.

The original bill proposed a 150 percent tax on tobacco, 70 percent on alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Figures from the territory's healthcare provider, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation, show in 2013, diabetes was affecting more than 8 percent of the population.

This is despite the recruitment of more physicians and the reopening of satellite clinics.