Do not stigmatise or discriminate COVID-19 persons says Dr Dakulala

Please do not stigmatise or discriminate our brother and sisters who have contracted coronavirus or COVID-19.

I am making this plea as we release news of a female woman from the Eastern Highlands Province who has been confirmed positive with COVID-19. We are running a second test on this patient as we have done for the seven persons already tested positive for best practice and quality assurance.

As usual, we will begin this brief with an update of the global situation in response to COVID-19.

Globally there are 2,397,216 confirmed cases; 83,006 new cases; and 162,956 deaths. A total of 5,109 of these deaths are new or recent.

In the Western Pacific Region there are 134,506 confirmed cases, 2,068 of which are new cases since our last briefing. A record 5,685 deaths of which 37 occurred since our last briefing.

Down south to our closest neighbour Australia a total of 6,625 have contracted COVID-19. 71 people have died since.

Let me give you a quick glance of figures from some of the other countries around the world:

  • Philippines: 6,459 total confirmed, 428 deaths;
  • Singapore: 6,588 total confirmed, 11 deaths;
  • New Zealand: 1,107 total confirmed, 13 deaths;
  • Guam: 133 – total confirmed, 5 deaths;
  • French Polynesia: 56 total confirmed, no deaths.
  • Indonesia: 6,740 total number confirmed cases; 185 deaths;
  • New Caledonia: 18 total confirmed, no deaths;
  • Fiji: 17 total confirmed cases, no deaths; and
  • For Papua New Guinea, the total number of cases is 8 with the recent patient from Goroka.

For the points of entry update at our airports and seaports as of 20 April 2020, a total of 30,424 people have been screened out of which 7,454 have been identified as persons of interest.

From this group we have cleared 7,176 after going through the process of tests and quarantine etc. The remaining POIs still being followed are now 209.

For the PNG COVID-19 surveillance update as of 21 April 2020, the surveillance team has collected 1,624 samples for testing, out of which 559 have been tested.

Of this, 551 came back negative and 8 positive.

We have a total of 7,390 POIs as of 21 April. Figures for each of the 22 provinces:

  • NCD – 3,732,
  • Morobe – 3,867
  • New Ireland – 316
  • Western – 172
  • East New Britain – 126
  • Madang – 124
  • Western Highlands – 1,115
  • Central -112
  • Eastern Highlands – 107
  • Hela – 103
  • Enga – 82
  • Southern Highlands – 70
  • East Sepik – 58
  • West New Britain – 49
  • Milne Bay – 47
  • West Sepik – 43
  • Bougainville -21
  • Jiwaka-19
  • Oro – 16
  • Gulf Province – 15
  • Manus – 14
  • Simbu – 13.

Currently, a total of 1,065 people are awaiting results from the laboratory.

In relation to the first NCD confirmed case, a total of 725 contacts had been identified and samples collected. These contacts are work colleagues from the National Operations Centre, staff from the Morauta Haus, Customs, family members and other contacts.

All the contacts of the NCD case have been quarantined since 16 April.

Since the first case was confirmed in the East New Britain Province, a total of 152 samples have been collected. All the contacts have been quarantined with contact tracing ongoing.

In the Western Province we have identified a total of 228 contacts of the three positive cases and collected samples. Samples of the three positive cases are on the way for second testing.

My message today, whilst announcing the 8 COVID-19 case is to advise Papua New Guineans to be vigilant and continue to practice the health messages that we have been giving to you:

  • Wash your hands;
  • Cover your cough with your elbow;
  • Keep safe physical distancing;
  • Avoid crowds;
  • Stay home.

Remember, please do not stigmatise or discriminate our brother and sisters who have contracted coronavirus or COVID-19.

Approved for release

David Manning, MBE, DPS, QPM

EMERGENCY CONTROLLER &

Commissioner of Police

 

For media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS

Team Leader – COVID-19 Media & Public Information

Joint Agency Task Force

Mobile: 75430557: Email: ddkakas@gmail.com

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