PORT MORESBY, 13 AUGUST 2020 (PNG GOVT) — Papua New Guinea National Pandemic Response Control Centre has announced 55 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country Wednesday, bringing the total to 287.
The cases being the single highest recorded in a day, include 18 from the National Capital District and 37 from Western Province.
The 18 cases from the city’s suburbs of Badili, Erima, Hohola, Tokarara, Kaugere, ATS, Sabama, Wanigela (Koki), June Valley and Boroko were recently tested at the Taurama Aquatic Drive through clinic and other urban clinics. The Western Province samples were tested in Brisbane through an arrangement by the Ok Tedi Mining Limited.
More details about contact tracing and isolation of the contacts will be available today.
Controller of the National Pandemic Response David Manning said, “As is our usual protocol we are continuing to trace close and casual contacts of those persons and test them for COVID-19. This has included household contacts of the cases.
“All close contacts of the 55 cases will remain in self-isolation for 14 days, regardless of their test result, and all will remain in self-isolation until they have the results of their test.
“As of Wednesday, we have confirmed COVID-19 cases in ten PNG provinces, including 206 in NCD, five in Central, 47 in Western, four in Morobe, two in East New Britain and one each in West Sepik, New Ireland, Southern Highlands, Eastern Highlands, and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
“We have seen clusters of infections at the National Department of Health, the National Control Centre, and various suburbs within the NCD as well as the ten named provinces.
However, this does not mean the other suburbs in the NCD as well as the other 12 provinces are COVID free! It simply means that we need to do more testing to ascertain the presence and spread of COVID-19.
“In NCD the testing centres are all prepared for receiving more people and I will once again encourage you all to get tested if you are experiencing sore throat, cough, cold and flu and shortness of breath.”
The Health Ministry is working closely with provincial health authorities around the country to ensure additional testing capacity is available to meet an expected increase in demand.
“We’ve been saying for several weeks, it was inevitable that Papua New Guinea would get cases of community transmission. The important thing now is that we don’t let the virus spread in our community.
“As we did in the early days of this virus emerging, we need to stamp it out.
“There are things that every single Papua New Guinean needs to do now:
*Continue stringent hand hygiene;
*Sneeze and cough into your elbow;
*If you or a family member are unwell stay home and contact 1800-200 about getting a test;
- Practice physical distancing of two meters wherever possible; and
*Consider wearing a mask in public spaces or places where it is hard to physically distance.
“We have seen how quickly it can lead to a wider resurgence in communities overseas and therefore we call you to protect yourself, your family and the community by following these simple health messages,” Manning said. To date over 11,920 persons have been tested for COVID-19. Out of this 287 have returned positive. These include 78 persons who have fully recovered and 209 active cases……PACNEWS