Monday 11 May, 2020
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP, has acknowledged contributions from the people and Government of Australia to assist Papua New Guinea’s National Health Authorities better understand the COVID-19 Transmission in Papua New Guinea.
The Prime Minister said the Minister for Health, Hon. Jelta Wong and the Acting Secretary for the National Department of Health, Dr. Paison Dakulala received 12,000 Rapid Diagnostic Testing Kits and 380 more GeneXpert cartridges from the Government of Australia today.
“We have been fortunate to identify and isolate our eight confirmed cases and stepped up testing to ensure there is no widespread community transmission as predicted by the World Health Organisation’s Transmission model.
“To understand why, the transmission rate does not match the WHO model and to establish whether there was community transmission in our communities but our immune system defeated the virus quickly, the National Department of Health is now deploying the Rapid Diagnostic Test.”
The Australian Government has also given expertise, in the form of four more Australian Defence Force Personnel who have come on board after undergoing 14 days of isolation.
According to the Central Public Health Laboratory Director/Manager and Chairperson of MESAC, Dr. Evelyn Lavu, the Rapid Diagnostic Testing (RDT) is being done to map out post community transmission by tracing the presence or absence of antibodies in our body. She said the RDT is done by collection of blood from a finger prick or venous blood.