No additional ban needed
I am writing to explain my position on not signing the letter to the president requesting a ban on all nonessential travel to the Hawaii until April 30.
The governor’s 14-day quarantine order mandating that all arriving passengers from the mainland and overseas go into self-quarantine upon arrival has been very effective in deterring travelers from coming to Hawaii. The Hawaii Tourism Authority on Saturday showed that there were zero international arrivals and only two mainland visitor arrivals to the Kona airport.
The total arrivals from the mainland Saturday at all Hawaii airports, including crew, residents and visitors was only 543: Kona had a total of 32 people aboard two flights, Maui had 33 people aboard one flight, Lihue had six people aboard one flight and Oahu had 472 people aboard 13 flights. This time last year, Hawaii airports saw 30,000 travelers a day.
These are dramatic results from the 14-day quarantine rule. I believe that it would not be worth imposing additional travel bans because the quarantine rule is working to severely reduce incoming passengers. It is estimated that 97% of all incoming flights from the mainland and Asia have been canceled. Travel from Japan is zero. This shows the effectiveness of the 14-day quarantine rule.
The other reservation I had against signing the letter to the president is that once flights are stopped, it is extremely difficult to re-establish flights. This would be detrimental to our state, and it would prolong Hawaii’s recovery from this emergency.
What needs to be improved is the monitoring and enforcement of the arriving passengers, who are automatically required to self-quarantine.
The enforcement problem for Hawaii Police Department and all county police officers has been pointed out to Gen. (Kenneth) Hara. Gen. Hara immediately responded that this would be followed up on. During his press conference Saturday, Gen. Hara confirmed his actions to address this.
Thank you for the opportunity to clarify our position.
Hawaii County mayor
Critical of column
I take umbrage to Rochelle delaCruz’s April 6 column, “More observations amid the pandemic” (Tribune-Herald).
To me it was a bitch session that I, and I’m sure other readers, do not need to read.
You have no idea why a person is wearing gloves and masks, and making a blanket statement that they don’t need to wear them because medical and food prep people need them is irresponsible.
We do have responsible members of this community who have emergency response training, have implemented emergency preparedness procedures and have emergency supply kits. These kits contain N95 masks and gloves. Mine also contains surgical masks. We will do what we need to do to protect ourselves.
I for one have asthma and need to protect myself. I can’t get sick. I’ve had pneumonia too many times.
I have a 92-year-old neighbor who went out the other day, and I was relieved that he had his mask on.
Please don’t make statements to the newspaper readers that might incline them to judge glove and mask wearers harshly.