Friday 24 July 2020
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, today confirmed one more new case of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Port Moresby, bringing the total to 32 .
He is encouraging anyone with flu-like symptoms to report to Rita Flynn and get tested to identify whether it is COVID-19 or not.
He said day 38 of the Niupela Pasin, has seen the world reached 15, 641, 083 (15 million) confirmed cases and 635, 633 deaths.
In Papua New Guinea, out of the 32 patients, 20 are active cases and being monitored currently.
Case 28 is a close contact of case 17 (deceased) who died of Breast Cancer. The 35 year old female who was in isolation in a single room at Ward 2A was transferred to Rita Flynn today.
Mr Marape says Case 29, resides in close proximity to case 17 and was presented to Port Moresby General Hospital Emergency Department with cough and a sore throat.
His results returned positive on GeneXpert and has been transferred to Rita Flynn and is currently being monitored.
Case 30 on the other hand, is a staff of Port Moresby General Hospital, who had fever and headaches and tested positive on GeneXpert.
Case 31 was a patient at the Accident and Emergency ward who experienced shortness of breath and his result returned positive on GeneXpert.
Meantime, investigations are currently underway on Case 32 who is now in isolation .
Mr Marape said Port Moresby General Hospital is picking up cases from undertaking tests on staff, patients and guardians.
“These cases indicate community spread and more cases are expected. Be reminded that you can be still be symptomatic (show no symptoms) but have the virus.”
Meanwhile, the 14 Cases (# 18-32) announced this week have all been in isolation at Rita Flynn.
Mr Marape further clarified that Case 20 is a teenager and a close contact of Case 13, who is a staff at the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL), while Case 21, also a teenager, is a close contact of Case 16 (CPHL Staff), while Cases #22-27, are all household contacts of Case 18 (Medical Officer)
Mr Marape added that Contact tracing of recent cases #13 – 32 is ongoing and so far 116 contacts have been identified, of which 96 are in quarantine and being monitored while 20 are currently being followed up.
The Health Team is presently in contact with those respective education institutions of those school aged confirmed cases, however schools will continue to operate while contact tracing for confirmed cases continues.
Mr Marape urged students and teachers to practice health preventative measures, such as wearing masks and using soap and water to wash hands.
He added that ,as of today (24 July), 9, 885 persons have been tested, of which 32 have confirmed positive . There were 8, 975 samples tested; of the total; 8, 945 turned out negative while 592 are pending results.
“As of today, 292 samples are in Singapore to be tested while 300 have been packaged and will be sent to Brisbane tomorrow. The Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) is on lockdown.
“It is now clear that there is community transmission in Port Moresby. This is obvious through the number of contact tracing of the recent confirmed cases, I therefore, once again remind you all to be vigilant as COVID-19 is real.”
Prime Minister has further clarified that Port Moresby City would not be on lockdown but would be divided into different zones , where military, police and health personnel will be deployed to various parts of the city to enforce strict health measures.
“ It is now a community transmission and the Government is now working towards containing the spread of COVID-19.
“We want to contain the spread in Port Moresby City and that means monitoring the movement of people into the City especially from Gulf and Central provinces”
The Governors of both Central and Gulf provinces have been consulted in ensuring the borders are being strictly manned.
Prime Minister has again appealed to all Papua New Guineans not to be complacent or too relaxed., and to be responsible for their families , communities and country, by practicing the following:
- Wear face masks at all times in public places;
- Wash your hands with soap and water (Practice personal hygiene);
- Maintain Physical/ Social Distancing (stay at least 1-2 meters way from others);
- Sneeze into your elbow; and
- Do not touch your face, eyes and nose.
- Please isolate yourself by staying at home, if you have nothing to do in other places.
- Call 1-800-200 if you are feeling unwell.