Controller Manning calls for more testing to determine extent of COVID-19 outbreak in country

Wednesday 11 November 2020

The Controller of the National Pandemic Response, Mr David Manning, has expressed concern  over the low  testing rates for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country and called  for more testing to be carried out.

“I call on the persons in-charge of the designated health facilities to ensure there is screening of people for COVID-19 and that health workers collect swab samples for testing,” says Mr Manning.

The Controller further reminded the health workers of the proper handling of samples to ensure they are of quality when they reach the laboratories for testing.

“We may have more cases than we currently know, and we will only find out the extent of the outbreak in the country if we proactively test people.

“While there is evidence of continued COVID-19 transmission in NCD, not enough testing is done, and as  a result, the probability of unidentified cases remains high and the true number of cases in NCD remains unknown,” Mr Manning added.

The call by Mr Manning comes at a time when over 50 healthcare workers from facilities across NCD are trained on COVID-19 case investigation and sample collection.

The training is provided with the support of the National Department of Health, NCD Health and the World Health Organization.

To date, PNG has 599 COVID-19 cases, with seven deaths.

There have been 30,027 people who have been tested for coronavirus. Additional 295 samples are pending laboratory results.

There are 586 people who have recovered from COVID-19 whilst there are six active cases that are being isolated.

Fifteen provinces (including the Autonomous Region of Bougainville) have confirmed COVID-19 cases:


Provinces Confirmed Cases
NCD 346
Western Province 203
Eastern Highlands 13
West New Britain 10
Central 7
Morobe 5
East Sepik 3
Milne Bay 2
East New Britain 2
Enga 2
New Ireland 2
West Sepik 1
Southern Highlands 1
Hela Province 1


Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force
Mobile: 75430557 email:
Police email:          
COVID-19 JATF email:

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