Remote Marshall Islands records first cases of COVID-19

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The coronavirus has reached the Marshall Islands, one of the last few spots on Earth to have remained free of the deadly bug, according to a report.

The government of the remote archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean announced that two workers at a US base on Kwajalein atoll had tested positive after arriving from Hawaii on Tuesday, the BBC reported.

After arriving on a military flight, the 35-year-old woman and 46-year-old man were isolated from the wider population, officials said. Both are asymptomatic.

The local government urged residents to “remain vigilant” and continue with basic precautions but said there was no need for any lockdowns.

“Businesses and government operations will continue as normal until further notice,” a government statement said.

The Marshall Islands – a sprawling chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls with a population of about 60,000 — closed its borders in March to keep the virus out.

It is a self-governing nation, but the US controls its defense and provides millions of dollars in aid every year. The US rents the Kwajalein atoll as a base and missile test range.

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