Pacific / Northern Marianas

CNMI still coronavirus free after negative test result

15:36 pm on 26 February 2020

Health authorities in the Northern Marianas say the islands remain coronavirus free after a sample from a suspected case came back negative.

Saipan in the Northern Marianas. Photo: Supplied

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation said despite the CNMI's proximity to areas with largescale Covid-19 outbreaks it remained free of the novel coronavirus.

Last week, a sample from a person suspected of having the virus was was sent to the Centers for Disease Control in the US.

The Commonwealth Health Corporation said the mortality rate for the coronavirus was at around two percent, making it less deadly than other transmissible diseases like ebola, which is 40 percent, and SARS, which is close to 10 percent.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the new strain of coronavirus a global public health emergency.

The WHO said the outbreak had been declining in China since 2 February. But it has jumped to about 30 other countries and territories, with some three dozen deaths, according to a Reuters count.