The National Control Centre confirms new COVID-19 deaths today (Monday April 5) increasing Papua New Guinea’s death toll to 67.
The six deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours ending 12 midday on Monday April 5, and were reported in the National Capital District, New Ireland and Morobe provinces. The NCD recorded three deaths of which two are males at the ages of 28 and 65 and a 45 year old female. Morobe province has two deaths, a 70year old male and a 55-year-old female, while New Ireland province reported the death of a 53year old male.
Police Commissioner and Controller of the National pandemic Response, David Manning, said that, to date, NCD recorded 52 Covid-19 related deaths; Morobe and West Sepik have three deaths each; West New Britain, Western Highlands and Western province recorded two deaths each, while Enga, Jiwaka and New Ireland reported a death each, which brings the total number of deaths to 67.
In the meantime, there were 368 new confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours, increasing the country’s total number of cases to 7,406. Mr Manning said, of the newly confirmed cases, Northern Province (Oro) reported its first three cases of COVID-19, two of whom are males and one female. Their ages range from 37 to 60 years, with two individuals being asymptomatic whilst one was showing symptoms of COVID-19 at the time of testing.
Mr Manning further confirms 108 new cases for the Western Province, of which 91 are males, 16 females and the identification of the other individual not being classified. Their ages range from five years to 61 years, with 89 cases being asymptomatic whilst ten cases showed symptoms of COVID-19 at the time of testing.
The Morobe province reported 68 new cases of which 38 are males, 24 females and six persons were not able to state their genders, with ages ranging from seven years to 79 years. Mr Manning added that at the time of testing, 64 cases showed symptoms of COVID-19 whilst four were asymptomatic.
At the same time, there were 61 new cases reported in the NCD, of which 33 are males and 28 females, with their ages ranging from five years to 79 years. Thirty individuals showed symptoms of COVID-19 and 31 others were asymptomatic at the time of testing. East New Britain on the other hand, reported 47 new cases, and from this number, there were 25 males, 20 females and two were not able to state their gender. Their ages range from 15years to 65 years. Thirty-seven cases showed symptoms of COVID-19 whilst nine were asymptomatic at the time of testing.
There were 42 new cases reported for Western Highlands province, out of which 24 are males, 16 females and two not classified, with their ages rangng from nine years to 62 years. Twenty-eight cases showed symptoms of COVID-19, and 14 individuals were asymptomatic at the time of testing.
West Sepik province also reported 24 new cases in 15 males and nine females, with ages ranging from 19 years to 60 years. Eight cases showed symptoms of COVID-19 whilst 16 persons were asymptomatic at the time of testing.
Eastern Highlands province further reported five new cases of which four are males and one female. Their ages range from 26 to 52 years, with two individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, whilst three persons were asymptomatic at the time of testing.
Five new cases were reported for Enga province, of which three are males and two females. Their ages range from 36 to 57 years, with four individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 whilst one was asymptomatic at the time of testing.
Two cases each were reported in Central and Hela whilst New Ireland province reported one. Of the total five cases reported in three different provinces, two are males and three females. Their ages range from 30 to 47 years. Two cases were showing symptoms of COVID-19 whilst three were asymptomatic at the time of testing.
The country’s total number of COVID-19 cases is 7,406 with 67 known deaths. Twenty provinces including the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) have reported cases, the distribution of which is as follows:
- NCD – 3,059 (52 deaths);
- Western Province – 1,962 (2 deaths);
- West Sepik – 349 (3 deaths);
- Morobe – 348 (3 deaths);
- Eastern Highlands – 302;
- East New Britain – 271;
- West New Britain – 214 (2 deaths);
- Western Highlands – 194 (2 deaths);
- AROB – 105;
- Central – 93;
- New Ireland – 90 (1 death);
- East Sepik – 72;
- Madang – 71;
- Southern Highlands – 66;
- Simbu – 65;
- Enga – 58 (1 death);
- Jiwaka – 33 (1 death);
- Hela – 25;
- Gulf – 13;
- Milne Bay – 13; and
- Northern – 3.
Mr Manning however said, the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 world wide has reached 130,422,190 including 662,690 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. The death toll is 2,842,135 of which 10,173 were reported in the last 24 hours. “it is very important that the people embrace the COVID-19 health protocols or the “Niupela Pasin” to contain and stop the spread of the virus.
“There is no cure for COVID-19. The only way now to stop yourself or your loved ones from getting COVID-19 is to wear face masks, regularly wash or sanitise your hands, maintain a physical distance of 1.5 meters and avoid crowds.”
Meanwhile, Mr Manning said the National Control Centre (NCC) is aware that there is a huge interest from the public about the number of active COVID-19 cases and the number of people who had COVID-19 and recovered.
He said active and recovered cases were not currently reported by the NCC because these data were not available at the national level. He added that each Provincial Health Authority (PHA) is responsible for monitoring and reporting data on cases identified in their respective provinces.
“In order to determine if an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 is still considered an ‘active’ case or ‘recovered’, their clinical status and the time that has passed since they tested positive for COVID-19 needs to be monitored and reported to the NCC daily,” Mr Manning said.
“The length of time a case is considered to be ‘active’ (that is, infectious and capable of transmitting the virus) and the length of time a case needs to be isolated, varies from person to person. “Asymptomatic cases that never develop symptoms are considered active for ten days from the date their positive swabs were taken.
“ Symptomatic cases are considered active for ten days after the date of onset of their symptoms, and they must be symptom free for at least three consecutive days prior to release from isolation.”
Mr Manning explains that a recovered case is someone who has completed their isolation period and is deemed to have clinically recovered from COVID-19. “A positive case does not need to be re-tested (using either RT-PCR or GeneXpert) after completing their isolation period.
“People may shed virus for over three months after acquiring COVID-19, but are no longer considered infectious after completing their isolation period, as explained. Thus, re-testing after the isolation period is not recommended.”
Mr Manning further said that in order to track active and recovered cases in PNG, it is necessary for each Provincial Health Authority to monitor all positive cases in their province for the periods of time mentioned above and regularly share the information about the clinical status of their isolated cases with the National Control Centre.