COVID-19 pandemic in Palau

COVID-19 pandemic in Palau
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
Arrival date31 May 2021[1]
Confirmed cases3,133[2]
Active cases1,376[2]
Suspected cases2
Hospitalized cases17
Government website
Suspected cases have not been confirmed by laboratory tests as being due to this strain, although some other strains may have been ruled out.

The COVID-19 pandemic in Palau is part of the ongoing worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was confirmed to have reached Palau on 31 May 2021.[1] As of August 2021, Palau has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world with approximately 84% of its population fully vaccinated.


On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.[3][4]

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003,[5][6] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[7][5]




Palau began implementing border controls early on.[8] The President of Palau Thomas Remengesau Jr. issued an executive order suspending all charter flights from China, Macau, and Hong Kong from 1–29 February 2020.[9] By March, the country's borders were closed.[8] Schools were also shut starting in April.[10] Remengesau eventually suspended travel to Palau.[11]

The order also quarantined all non-citizens who recently entered the country for fourteen days.[12]

April 2021

On 1 April 2021 Palau and Taiwan established a "travel bubble", allowing people to travel between the two countries, with restrictions.[13]

May - June 2021

Palau registered its first case of COVID-19 on 31 May 2021. President Surangel Whipps Jr. said that the patient was at low risk of infecting others and that the close contacts of the patient had returned negative test results. President Surangel Whipps Jr. also highlighted that the majority of the population had been vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2.[1]

On 11 June 2021, a second case was reported.[14]

August 2021

As of 24 August 2021, there have not been any new cases.[15]


New cases per day


Palauans began receiving COVID-19 vaccines in 2021.[8] As a member of the Compact of Free Association with the United States, Palau has received vaccines from Operation Warp Speed.[8][16] According to the Ministry of Health, vaccination started on 3 January and as of 12 April 40% of the population was fully vaccinated.[17] By 26 May, an estimated 96% of adults (18 and over) in the country had been fully vaccinated.[14] By the time the first case was detected, 97% of the adult population was vaccinated, about 70% of all Palauans. Plans were also announced to start vaccinating adolescents from 12 to 17.[1]

By early August 2021, 65% of 12 to 17 year olds had at least one dose of the vaccine, resulting in 80% of the eligible population being fully vaccinated.[18] As of 24 August 2021, 14,938 adults have received at least 1-dose with 14,447 of those being fully vaccinated. A further 1,146 adolescents (aged 12 to 17 years old) have received at least 1-dose with 835 of those being fully vaccinated.[15] Palau's population is approximately 18,092, meaning approximately 84.5% of the total population is fully vaccinated.[19]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Palau records first Covid-19 case". RNZ. 31 May 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Palau COVID-19 Updates". Ministry of Health & Human Services. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  3. ^ Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  4. ^ Reynolds, Matt (4 March 2020). "What is coronavirus and how close is it to becoming a pandemic?". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Crunching the numbers for coronavirus". Imperial News. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  6. ^ "High consequence infectious diseases (HCID); Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  7. ^ "World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – Coronavirus". Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d Mogul, Rhea. "Already free of coronavirus, this country could become the first to be vaccinated". CNN. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Palau to ban flights from China". The Guam Daily Post glish. 21 January 2020. Archived from the original on 29 January 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Coronavirus: A look at cases and restrictions in the Pacific". 20 March 2020. Archived from the original on 25 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  11. ^ Petty, Martin (15 April 2020). "'As long as necessary': Coronavirus holdout Palau opts for self-isolation". Reuters. Archived from the original on 15 April 2020. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  12. ^ Sablan, Jerick (16 April 2020). "Palau will quarantine all travelers for 14 days to prevent spread of COVID-19". Pacific Daily News. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Lift-off for Taiwan-Palau travel bubble but pandemic Ts & Cs apply". South China Morning Post. 1 April 2021. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report" (PDF). Palau Ministry of Health. 26 May 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 June 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Palau COVID-19 Situation Report - 24 August 2021" (PDF). Ministry of Health & Human Services. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  16. ^ "Taiwan And Palau Launch Coronavirus Travel Bubble". Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  17. ^ "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report" (PDF). Palau Ministry of Health. 12 April 2021. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 April 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  18. ^ "Palau settles into new normal after it claims herd immunity". RNZ. 9 August 2021. Retrieved 2021-08-10.
  19. ^ "Population, total - Palau | Data". Retrieved 25 August 2021.

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