Saturday 20 March 2021
The Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response and Police Commissioner David Manning today announced the death of Honourable Richard Mendani, the Member for Kerema Open from COVID-19.
“Sadly, his passing comes one year to the day since the first COVID-19 infection was detected in our country,” Mr Manning said.
He said Mr Mendani was presented to the Pacific International Hospital (PIH) Emergency Department on 24 February with the complaint of fever, cough, breathlessness, and headaches since 19 February.
He was initially diagnosed with pneumonia at Hope Clinic but as his condition did not improve he was referred to PIH for further evaluation and management.
“On clinical suspicion of COVID-19, PCR testing was conducted and he was confirmed positive.
“The threat of death from COVID-19 is real, and sadly the Late Honourable Member paid the ultimate price and lost his life because of this terrible virus,” Mr Manning said.
He added , “COVID-19 is an invisible killer that spreads through the air we inhale, and the objects that we touch. But we as a people, as workers, as small business owners and government employees, can do our part to protect our loved ones and try to keep them safe.”
Mr Manning said since the first COVID-19 infection was detected as having entered Papua New Guinea, the Government has been educating the people on the necessary safety protocols.
He said, “We came through the first wave of the virus spread better than many other countries because Papua New Guineans are a caring people, and because we want to keep our communities safe. But this second wave of infections is much worse than the first and we must not let our guard down.
“The number of detected COVID-19 infections today has reached 3,085, which is triple the positive cases one month ago, and we must prepare for this number to continue rising.
“Now is the time for all of our people to be reminded how serious this threat is to us and continue to take precautions to stop the spread. We must wear face masks, we must wash our hands constantly and we must maintain social distancing everywhere possible.
“The enemy of our people is the virus, and it is up to every one of us to fight this by being proactive and stopping its spread,” Mr Manning said.
Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force
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