Tuesday 23 March 2021
PAPUA New Guinea reported a total of 351 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 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.
Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response and Police Commissioner Mr David Manning said 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 with 166 infected persons; 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.
The cumulative figures for the 20 provinces that have reported confirmed cases so far are as follows:
- NCD – 1766;
- Western – 786;
- West Sepik – 345;
- Eastern Highlands – 201;
- West New Britain – 196;
- Morobe – 140;
- East New Britain – 124;
- Western Highlands – 109;
- Autonomous Region of Bougainville – 59;
- Madang – 59;
- New Ireland – 55;
- Enga – 50;
- East Sepik – 41;
- Central – 37;
- Southern Highlands – 34;
- Chimbu – 31;
- Jiwaka – 23;
- Hela – 19;
- Milne Bay – 11; and
- Gulf – 3.
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 in the province.
The symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, headache, shortness of breath, sore throat, chills and muscle aches.
Mr Manning urged people having these symptoms to 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 Mr Manning.
As of today, 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.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister James Marape received 8,000 emergency vaccine doses, provided by the Australian Government on Tuesday 23 March.
These will be prioritised to cater for PNG health and frontline workers.
Mr 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.”
Mr 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,” Mr Manning said.
Mr Manning reminded residents and citizens of PNG that the pandemic is not over yet.
On this day, the total confirmed cases globally is 124,269,741 with 2,734,723 deaths recorded. Of this, 435,697 were reported in the last 24 hours. There were also 6,155 new deaths in the 24 hours up to 12 midday on Tuesday 23 March.
Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
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