PORT MORESBY, 22 MARCH 2021(THE NATIONAL) — The number of Covid-19 patients in Papua New Guinea turning up at the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) is much higher than the available manpower to deal with them.
Hospital chief executive officer Dr Paki Molumi said with the closure of the Gerehu Hospital, the number of patients arriving at the emergency department had recently been increasing.
He said there was a shortage of manpower because 120 hospital staff had been infected and isolated. Most are from the emergency department.
“We are in a situation where more Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients are being attended to by a limited and over-stressed staff,” he said.
“In January alone, we reported zero positive cases in a total of 123 swabs collected on symptomatic patients.
“In February, we noticed a sharp rise in the positivity rate of Covid-19 cases. Of 380 swabs collected on symptomatic patients, 10 per cent were positive or 39.
“Now, the trend is a 70 per cent infection rate in positive cases.
“That is, out of every 10 patients symptomatic for an acute respiratory illness and are being tested for Covid-19, seven are found to be positive.
“One section of emergency is always full with Covid-19 patients awaiting transfer to the isolation ward.” he said.
The government has opened 79 hospitals and clinics in 16 provinces to conduct Covid-19 swabbing tests.
National Pandemic Response Controller David Manning said the facilities would be accessible to families, individuals, business houses, organisations and expatriates.
“We want to make sure these facilities conduct tests and that people know these hospitals and clinics are open to them,” Manning said.
Meanwhile, the National Capital District Commission is conducting a three-day awareness campaign to address the surge in the Covid-19 community transmission in Port Moresby.
“We are not stopping you from moving around or doing business,” said City Manager Bernard Kipit.
“All we want from you is to wear masks at all times and wearing it right.
“We are doing our part in the conducting the awareness, reminding the residents to do their part so that we all arrive at the outcome we all want to manage the surge.”
Acting chief executive officer of the NCD health authority Ken Wai said the Covid-19 was a common enemy and health was everybody’s business.
“The NCDC is taking ownership of our city (and) the provincial health authority is with you,” he said.
“We have support from police, defence and security personnel,” he said…. PACNEWS

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