Health sector and NCC increase COVID-19 testing in NCD

Tuesday 30 June   2020

The health sector and the National Control Centre  are currently increasing testings  in the National Capital District  to identify  and deal with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)  case.

Acting Secretary for Health and Deputy Controller, Dr Paison Dakulala, says this  is important  if  the country  is  to mitigate and   manage the covid-19 case within  National Capital District and the country as a whole.

Dr Dakulala is also  encouraging those  with   flu-like symptoms,   fever ,  cough and shortness of breath or pneumonia symptoms, to come forward for testing  to identify  if it is covid-19 or not.

He was addressing the nation   in his regular press briefing on  the   COVD-19,    on the 9th day of the Niupela Pasin or the New Normal on  Wednesday 25 June

In his  regular  press briefing, Dr Dakulala also confirmed the 10th COVID-19 case in Papua  New Guinea.

He said one of the two active cases   was repatriated  on Tuesday, 24 June after  his sample tested positive on June 18.

From the global point of view,  there have been 9, 527,099 confirmed cases of covid-19  with 484,956 deaths .

In the last 24 hours  there has been   an  increase of  173, 100 confirmed cases.

“In the Western Pacific region,  Australia  has total cases of 7, 557 with 36 new cases and 103 deaths;  China, 83, 418 total cases with 4, 634 deaths  and 42 new cases;

Philippines,  has total cases  of  32, 295 , with   1, 204 deaths  and new cases, of 1, 143;  Singapore  has  42, 623, with 26 total deaths and 191 (new) cases;  Indonesia, with  49,009 total  confirmed cases, new confirmed cases of 1, 130 and total deaths of 2, 573.”

Papua province in Indonesia has  1, 779 confirmed cases and 10 deaths.  There is an increase of 60  new  confirmed  cases in the past 24 hours in the  province.

Dr Dakulala has again urged every Papua New Guinean to continue to be vigilant.

When giving   an update on  the total  number of covid-19  testings  done,  Dr Dakulala said  that as of 21 June,  the total number of persons tested for covid-19 was  6, 818 .

‘”Of   the total number of  sample results  available, there were  5,555;  total number of those that  were  negative, 5,545,  while 202 two are still pending  laboratory results.

“The total number  of confirmed  covid-19 cases to date,  in the country is  10,” Dr Dakulala said.

Commenting on antibody  testing , Dr Dakulala added   that   the seroprevalence  study   undertaken on antibody testing, covered    14,522  participants  to determine  whether or not persons have  traces of the virus  infections .

Meantime, the 9th  covid-19 case in the country  was repatriated to Australia on Tuesday 24 June  2020.

Dr Dakulala further explained,  there has  been a  lot of  scale up  and work  at   Murray Barracks, to find out more  about this case and what has happened.

Since June 20,  2020 , a total of 780 samples were collected from Murray Barracks , with 202 samples being  tested at the Institute of Medical Research, and further samples   sent to Brisbane  on Thursday 26  June for testing.

Contact tracing  was undertaken for case 9 after he visited several places in the infectious period and those included, among others,  the Australian High Commission, Boroko Car Club, Pacific International Hospital and PNG Power.

“And so all  these places have been looked at and tests have been done , or where necessary to be done, so we can find if there’s any evidence of the virus within the community setting.”

As for case number 10 , Dr Dakulala said , she  is a military personnel at Murray Barracks.

“When the  process  of testings were  done for the whole of Murray Barracks,  this person was found to be  positive. She became symptomatic about  a week ago with a  headache, and  she became  fatigue.   Her tests  results returned positive  and she is in isolation at the   Rita Flynn Court and that’s where she is and improving.”

Dr Dakulala  added that all the other key contacts that  she interacted  with are  going  through the process   of screening.

“Now what does this  indicate?  What does this  mean in terms of covid-19  especially in relations to the National Capital District. What this means is that , maybe there is circulation of covid-19 in Port Moresby.

“The case reports no recent international  or domestic travel,  and so there is possibility that a local cluster  is there, and   we need to work through to find out where this may be.”

Dr Dakulala said  the   situation  of  covid-19   is  now present  in Port Moresby, and believed it  could  relate to community transmission.

He added that  covid-19 could be circulating  in NCD  and urged  all  residents  to be  more responsible, cooperative   and   step up in   the ways    they   deal with health measures, and above all, to continue to be vigilant.

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