PNG records 72 cases of COVID-19

Thursday 30 July 2020

Papua New Guinea  today  recorded 72 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) , with  two deaths.

Controller of the National Pandemic Response , David Manning

Controller of the National Pandemic Response , David Manning, confirmed this during a press briefing at Morauta Haus this afternoon, adding that  three are critical   cases of which two are  currently being admitted at the Intensive Care Unit while the  other one is placed on ventilation.

“The total number of sample results available from COVID-19 are , 9, 626, of  which  9,552; returned negative, while  number of tests still pending laboratory results are 53, and  total number of confirmed cases to date, is 72.”

The total number of active cases for COVID-19  are 54.

Mr Manning commended  the scaling up of testing  as of 28 July,  which saw  COVID-19 sample collections and PCR testing  which exceeded 10, 200 tests  so far

He said the five new cases today , case numbers 67 to 72, are all based in NCD and from their case studies or histories,  it is evident the virus  is widespread in the City.

In addition, research   participants  were also involved in  the serosurveillance study which included samples from private companies  that  currently stand at  14, 744.

Mr Manning said Day 44 of the Niupela Pasin  which came into effect after the State of Emergency, has seen  the global confirmed cases of COVID-19  increased to  17, 171, 005 with total deaths of  669, 242 so far.

“The declaration of the SOE ,was 128 days ago.  Since then there’s been an increase  of 16, 798, 250 confirmed cases and 653,011 deaths in the last four months.

“In the past 24 hours, there was an increase of 284,507 confirmed cases globally.  This is  the largest or the highest global daily increase since the SOE  commenced on the 23 of March 2020.”

In the Western Pacific region as of 29 July, Australia has recorded  total  cases of  15,582 with 176    deaths; Indonesia  has 204, 432 people and   death toll  to 4, 975; Papua Province of Indonesia, has  total confirmed cases of  2,988 and deaths remain at 32;  Philippines  recorded  a  total  of  85, 486  cases,  and 1  962 deaths; New Zealand  confirmed   1559 cases   and  22 deaths; and   Singapore   recoded a  total of  51,531 confirmed cases   with 27 deaths.

Meantime, in light of the current  upsurge in positive cases,  contact tracing at NCC is  currently being conducted .

As part  of the testing strategy in NCD,, Mr Manning said the following clinics  will assist with testing in the city:  Morata Clinic has  commenced testing , while testing in the   Moresby general  cluster is ongoing;  6 Mile  clinic is likely to begin testing  soon;   9 Mile clinic  has begun its testing;  Gordons clinic will be operating its testing soon , Pari clinic  is expected to operate before the weekend; while  Koki-  Wanigela  has commenced testing

Up  to 25 Papua New Guinea Defence Force Staff  have been mobilised to do swabbing at clinics.

NCD surveillance team and drive-through clinics supported by St. Johns Ambulance will commence or has commenced in the City.

Meanwhile, the positive case  in Lae is now stable and in isolation.

Mr Manning said  74  staff  from WHO, World Vision, NDOH and the  Morobe Provincial Health Authority who attended the provincial immunization  training in Lae,   are   now in quarantine      .

Contact tracing for passengers on PX 106, have commenced, with  6 GeneXpert tests of contacts  have returned negative.

Mr Manning is appealing to every   Papua New Guinean, and in particular the residents of Port  Moresby  to remain  vigilant against COVID-19.

“This is very trying time for us, and I need all of us to at least contribute to alleviate the threat   that is very much in our midst.”

Mr Manning further added that an Australian medical team will be deployed to the country next week Tuesday 4 August, to assess the needs at Port Moresby General Hospital, Rita Flynn facility and potential field hospitals around the country and in particular in the NCD.

The team includes emergency physicians, intensive care specialists, emergency management  laboratory specialists and will be deployed at no cost to the government .

This comes as  a result of Prime Minister, James Marape’s  call  for assistance from PNG’s bilateral partners and friends. .Australia was the first country to respond. Germany and New Zealand  have also responded  to assist.

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