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SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, June 20) - Lt. Gov. Diego T.
Benavente yesterday said three Chinese were recently allowed to enter the CNMI
despite the local government’s ban on the entry of travelers from SARS
affected countries like China.

Benavente said the policy has "flexibility" for
"critical needs."

Benavente allowed the entry of the three Chinese when he was the
acting governor several days ago.

Rep. Stanley T. Torres, R-Saipan, criticized Benavente’s
granting of exemptions. "I completely understand the need for quarantine
procedures and I think it should be vigorously observed and enforced — that is
why I cannot understand why some exceptions have been made (which) in my opinion
have not been adequately explained to the general public," he said.

Benavente said he "does not know what Torres is talking
about." Benavente said the government’s policy has "a
language...that provides for that flexibility."

He said this policy had been discussed with Public Health
Secretary James U. Hofschneider and with CNMI immigration officials

June 20, 2003

Marianas Variety: 


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