1st May 2020: Statement by Deputy Controller and Acting Secretary for Health, Dr Paison Dakulala
Good afternoon, my fellow Papua New Guineans. It’s been five (5) weeks since the SOE commenced.
During these five weeks, we have identified 8 confirmed cases.
We have tested 2,402 samples. Of the total 2,362 turned out negative while 32 are pending results.
We have tested more than 500 contacts of the two positive cases in the East New Britain Province.
We have traced and tested 746 contacts of the NCD Index case, which I along with the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and the Controller were part of the statistics.
We have tested 262 contacts of the three (3) positive cases in Western Province.
We’ve identified and tested 43 contacts of Eastern Highlands index case. Out of this, 36 are from Eastern Highlands and 7 are from Morobe Province. We have increased surveillance at our borders with the deployment of PNG Defence Force and Police personnel along the Western borders.
We were successful in doing so because of the SOE operations currently in place.
Particularly, it controlled the movement of people and the spread.
It also identified the best approaches on safely bringing our PNG citizens abroad back into the country.
The SOE helped the Government to identify strategies and implement ways to protect citizens from coronavirus (COVID-19) which includes new approaches to be implemented in schools, public transports, offices, clubs & restaurants, sporting venues and churches.
Now that we are happy with the strategies we have reopened tertiary institutions; with secondary and primary schools to start on Monday May 4, 2020.
We have reopened flights and uplifted road blocks and the curfew.
I am pleased to announce that we have safely repatriated 46 citizens and long term residents of Papua New Guinea in the last 24 hours.
We are now depending on you to ensure that you implement these strategies put in place by the Government.
The COVID-19 fight isn’t over yet. We have challenges still unfolding before us and we are getting prepared to tackle it.
As of today, statistics shows the world has confirmed 3,090,445 confirmed cases and recorded 217,769 deaths.
The pandemic has reached 213 countries including Papua New Guinea and other Western Pacific countries of Australia, Philippines, Singapore, New Zealand, Guam, French Polynesia, North Mariana Islands
Our biggest worry now is the 760 kilometre PNG-Indonesia border. Our closest neighbour Indonesia has reported 10,118 confirmed cases and 792 deaths.
Out of the total, 205 confirmed cases and 6 deaths are from Papua. In West Papua, there are 37 confirmed cases and one (1) death. This goes to show that our Wantoks, just a border away and like us, are not immune to Coronavirus.
COVID 19 is here to stay. Stop it from spreading. It will not kill you if you follow simple health measures.
- Wash your hands with soap and water (practice personal hygiene);
- Main social distancing (stay at least 1-2 meters way from others);
- Sneeze into your elbow; and
- Do not touch your face, eyes and nose.
These will be the new normal for PNG. Embrace this advice and let us keep PNG safe.
For media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
Team Leader – COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force
Mobile: 75430557:Email: firstname.lastname@example.org