10th April 2020: The new coronavirus disease 19 (covid-19) isolation and treatment facility at the Rita Flynn Netball indoor complex, was commissioned this morning by Governor of the National Capital District, Hon. Powes Parkop.
Governor Parkop assured residents of NCD and the country that leaders are all working together to protect the citizens and to give the service that they deserve.
“I want our people to have the assurance that we are here to provide the best service as best we can within a lot of limitations,” Mr Parkop said.
The facility within the Rita Flynn indoor complex in Boroko, can currently cater for 20 beds for patients with mild and moderate illnesses.
According to the Manager of the Rita Flynn Hospital Facility, Dr Gary Nou, patients, with severe cases would be transported to the Port Moresby General Hospital’s special isolation ward and be catered there.
However, the current maximum bed capacity at the Rita Flynn indoor complex stands at 76 but can increase to 100 beds.
Other tent structures have also been set up at the front side of for patients who will be initially assessed by the surveillance team to verify and define a patient’s case before being isolated.
Dr Nou said once patients are diagnosed with positive covid-19, they will be moved from quarantine to isolation and transported to the Rita Flynn indoor complex and placed on beds. Patients with moderate illnesses will be kept in cubicles, which
is also set up within the RF indoor complex.
Dr Nou said the bed capacity is at a minimum to ensure there is enough comfort for staff to move around and give patients enough space around them. “But in worst case scenario we can actually double the beds in the open space provided and also inside the cubicles.,” Dr Nou said.
Dr Nou has assured the people that they have plans to cater for everyone including those living with disabilities.
Dr Nou added that the personal protective equipment (PPEs) that will be worn by health workers and volunteers during their line of duties will be disposed of daily.
In addition, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Davis Steven, said it is a milestone,” in the journey that we as a nation has undertaken since the 24th March when the state of emergency was declared by the National Executive Council.
“Why I am grateful for this milestone is that if we can learn from this design, if we can learn from this collaboration, if we can learn from this facility that is being commissioned, we will be wealthier.
“We will be more informed, that in the event the nation should respond on a larger scale we already have the benefit of this knowledge, of this wonderful collaboration that we have witnessed today”.
“I am grateful to the wisdom of Parliament in agreeing that the extension be given by another two months where leaders of our provinces and districts, local level governments and wards can be given an opportunity to be informed and also to take part in the national response,” Mr Steven said.
Mr Parkop on the other hand, paid tribute to business houses , development partners, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Bank, Asian Development Bank , World Health Organisation, United Nations Development Program, UNICEF, the Australian government, the Chinese government and friends , who made it possible for the establishment of the facility and for their continued support in PNG’s covid-19 preparedness and response efforts.
The launch was also witnessed by Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Hon. Timothy Masiu, Minister for Health & HIV/AIDS, Hon. Jelta Wong, representatives from WHO, UNICEF, United Nations, Business Council and business houses, government agencies and statutory authorities, and community service organisations.