PORT MORESBY (PNG GOVT)—Papua New Guinea has reported a total of 351 new cases of COVID-19) on Tuesday, raising the national total confirmed cases to 4,109.

This is an increase of 1,021 cases over a period of six days. There were also two new deaths, raising the death toll to 39.

Of the 351 new cases, 51 per cent were asymptomatic while 49 per cent were symptomatic. This means that many people do not know they have the virus and are passing it onto others unknowingly.

The new cases came from 11 provinces namely: Western – 166; National Capital District – 84; Eastern Highlands – 39; Morobe – 20; Southern Highlands – 17; Western Highlands – 9; East Sepik – 6; New Ireland – 4; Jiwaka – 3; Gulf – 1; and Enga – 1.

Of the two new deaths, one, a man aged 52 years-old came from Western Province which now has two confirmed deaths due to COVID-19. The other, a 44-year-old male, came from Jiwaka Province, and is the first death to be reported from Jiwaka.

The symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, headache, shortness of breath, sore throat, chills and muscle aches.

Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response and Police Commissioner David Manning said it is important that everyone having these symptoms go for a test.

“Knowing your status helps you get the care you need and also it helps you protect anyone you come into contact with which could be close friends and relatives. I urge every educated Papua New Guinean to be good examples to the illiterate by going for a test when they develop the symptoms of COVID-19,” said Manning.

As of  Wednesday, a total of 60,680 people in PNG had been tested for COVID-19. Of this, 4,109 tested positive. The samples pending results at the laboratory stand at 2,539.

On Monday Prime Minister James Marape received 8,000 emergency vaccine doses, provided by the Australian Government. These will be prioritised to cater for PNG health and frontline workers.

Manning said, “Vaccines alone will not end the pandemic. We must continue to adhere to the health measures that we have been talking about for some time such as wearing masks, physical distancing, frequent hand-washing, avoiding crowds or limiting time spent in enclosed spaces.

“Other factors are also very important such as eating healthy. Our health workers and experts in nutrition also encourage us to ensure we look after our bodies by eating food that will help us fight off diseases such as COVID-19. In rural and remote settings, vegetables, fruits and other fresh food are in abundance so I urge everyone to take time to ensure they eat healthy.”

Manning also thanked everyone involved in the response including prayer warriors.

“These are people who are often forgotten but are very important. Thank you. Please continue to pray for us all. Together and with God’s help we will defeat this pandemic,” Manning said.

Manning reminded residents and citizens of PNG that the pandemic is not over yet…PACNEWS

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