Five new COVID-19 deaths were reported on Sunday March 14, bringing Papua New Guinea’s COVID-19 death toll to 26.
Also on Sunday, 97 new COVID-19 cases were reported, bringing the total confirmed cases for Papua New Guinea to 2,269.
The new cases came from the National Capital District which reported the highest of 26 cases; West Sepik – 7; Morobe – 7; Eastern Highlands – 32; East New Britain – 13; Central – 4; and Milne Bay which has not reported any new cases since last year has now reported 8 new cases.
The cumulative figures for all the 19 provinces that have confirmed cases so far are as follows:
- NCD – 1056;
- Western – 324;
- West Sepik – 206
- West New Britain – 197;
- Morobe – 94;
- Eastern Highlands – 77;
- East New Britain – 52;
- Autonomous Region of Bougainville – 48;
- Madang – 44;
- Western Highlands – 37;
- Enga – 29;
- Central – 26;
- New Ireland – 23;
- East Sepik – 16;
- Jiwaka – 16;
- Milne Bay- 10;
- Hela – 8;
- Chimbu – 4; and
- Southern Highlands – 3.
The five new deaths all come from NCD. Of the five, three were females aged 25, 45 and 71. The two males were aged 64 and 74. Two of the patients were intubated, meaning they had tubes inserted into their trachea for ventilation.
Since the outbreak began last year, PNG has tested 54,410 people. Most of these people are those that were either sick and came for a test at the health facilities or were tested because they were contacts of those who had been diagnosed and confirmed with the disease, including those with no symptoms.
Out of the 54,410 tests, a total of 2,269 came back positive. Of this, 26 have died and 845 have recovered. The total active cases stand at 1,398, including those in isolation.
Due to the low testing rate it is assumed that the number of positive cases is higher in the country. Reports also show that not all provinces are swabbing and sending samples to be tested for COVID-19 even though all provinces are required to swab patients with severe acute respiratory illnesses (SARI) and Influenza-like Illnesses (ILI) for COVID-19.
Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response and Police Commissioner Mr David Manning is calling on everyone throughout the country to be proactive in taking care of their health.
“I urge you all once again to please take care of your health by adhering to the health measures in place. Wear masks every time you go out into the community or while out in public spaces, shops, markets etc. Wash hands with soap often and use sanitizers if you have them.
“Cover your cough or cough into your elbow; avoid shaking hands, hugging and if you have coughed or sneezed into your hands make sure you wash them with soap and water before you shake hands with another person; avoid crowds; observe a physical distance of 1.5 to 2m from the next person even if they are your friends.
“Some people have the virus but are not aware of it. The only way to know if you have the virus or not is when you go for a test,” Mr Manning said.
He also said not everyone’s experience with COVID-19 is the same.
“Some people have had a bad experience with COVID-19, while others have mild symptoms which can be like a normal flu,’’ he said.
The symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, headache, shortness of breath, sore throat, chills, loss of taste or smell and muscle aches. Mr Manning said if anyone is experiencing one or two of these symptoms, they must go for a test.
Meanwhile, the global update shows that by Sunday the total confirmed cases was 118,754,336 of which 492,251 were reported in the last 24 hours. The new deaths reported within the 24 hours were 9,689, raising the global death toll to 2,634,374.
Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force
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