COVID-19 Cases Climb to 114 in PNG as Health Worker Clus­ter Grows

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Three more peo­ple in Pa­pua New Guinea have tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19, tak­ing the num­ber of cases there to 114. One of the in­fec­tions is in Ki­unga and the other two are in the Na­tional Cap­i­tal District.

The Ki­unga case is the fourth from the Western Prov­ince but the other three were back in midApril.

Con­tact trac­ing is con­tin­u­ing but in the mean­time the trio have been moved into re­spec­tive iso­la­tion units for mon­i­tor­ing.

Con­troller of the Na­tional Pandemic Re­sponse, David Man­ning, un­der­lines there is com­mu­nity trans­mis­sion in the NCD but says the gov­ern­ment is mak­ing ef­forts to con­tain the spread.

“We have seen very close friends and con­tacts tested pos­i­tive for the virus. This in­di­cates that com­mu­nity en­gage­ment and ed­u­ca­tion is crit­i­cal and is be­ing scaled up to ed­u­cate the com­mu­ni­ties,” Mr Man­ning said.

He con­firmed clus­ters within the Port Moresby Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal and the Cen­tral Pub­lic Health Lab­o­ra­tory “as a re­sult of our ad­vo­cates not ad­her­ing to the stan­dard in­fec­tion con­trol prac­tices and not wear­ing the cor­rect per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment for the right type of job in these health fa­cil­i­ties.” To date there have been 114 con­firmed cases of COVID-19 with 2 deaths, 40 re­leased from iso­la­tion, and 62 ac­tive cases.

Of those cases, 16 are health work­ers.

Mean­while, PNG’s Prime Min­is­ter James Marape is to hold a vir­tual lead­ers sum­mit with his Aus­tralian coun­ter­part Scott Mor­ri­son to­day with the COVID-19 pandemic ex­pected to be at the fore­front of the is­sues dis­cussed.

Mr Marape’s talks with Scott Mor­ri­son are ex­pected to cover a range of is­sues, in­clud­ing the re­sponse to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo: PNG PM Me­dia Unit

Pa­pua New Guinea’s Po­lice Com­mis­sioner David Man­ning (left), and Prime Min­is­ter James Marape.

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