Highlights of PNG COVID-19 Situation Report

22 September 2020

The   weekly COVID-19  PNG Situation Report    has reported  that as of 20 September there have been  526  COVID-19 confirmed cases and seven deaths in Papua New Guinea.

Eleven cases were reported in the National Capital District and four from  the Western Province with  one reported  death

The report from 14 to 20 September,  also  highlighted that the majority of the cases are male with ages ranging from one to 84 while the majority of cases are aged between 20 and 60 years.

Thirteen provinces have so far reported  confirmed cases: they include:

National Capital District (311); Autonomous Region of Bougainville (1); Central ( 7); Eastern Highlands (1); East New Britain ( 2); East Sepik (3); Milne Bay (2); Morobe  (5); New Ireland (1); West Sepik (Sandaun)  (1); Southern Highlands (1);West New Britain (2); and  Western Province  (189).

Meantime, contact tracing is ongoing for  all confirmed cases.

The report further highlighted that 56 percent of confirmed cases were  asymptomatic, which means  people were not showing any symptoms of the virus during  swabbing.

This  could mean the contributing factors to the large percentage of asymptomatic cases were due to resilience and health seeking  behaviors in the country,  and lack of reporting of past symptoms, among others.

It is further confirmed from the report that there is a large – scale community transmission  of coronavirus disease  in the country.

With low testing currently  being experienced in the  country, there has been a reduction in reported confirmed cases in the past seven days.

However between 14 to 20 September, there were 15 new confirmed cases reported from two  provinces. NCD reported 11 cases in the past seven days, which indicates community transmission in the city.

Western Province on  the other hand, recorded four cases in the past seven days, which spread from a  localized  cluster  of confirmed  cases at the mine site in the province that continues to report cases.

“With a lack of testing in the community, it is difficult to determine extent of transmission in the Western Province, particularly in communities surrounding the  large cluster,” according to the report.

As highlighted in the report,  NCD could expect  an increase in the cases, from ongoing population movement and low compliance to non-pharmaceutical interventions.

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