Saturday 20 March 2021
A total of 242 new cases were reported on Saturday March 20, bringing the national total confirmed cases to 3,359.
The death toll remained at 36.
The new cases came from eight provinces with the National Capital District recording the highest number of cases with 112.
The others are Western with 88; Morobe 7; Western Highlands 2; East New Britain 16; Madang – 9, New Ireland Province – 3; and Southern Highlands -5.
The cumulative figures for all the 19 provinces reporting the confirmed cases are as follows:
- NCD – 1597;
- Western – 414;
- West Sepik – 328;
- West New Britain – 196;
- Eastern Highlands – 154
- Morobe – 132;
- Western Highlands -100;
- East New Britain – 84;
- Autonomous Region of Bougainville – 59;
- Madang – 57;
- Enga – 49;
- New Ireland – 38;
- Chimbu – 31;
- East Sepik – 29;
- Central – 26;
- Jiwaka – 20;
- Hela – 19;
- Southern Highlands – 16; and
- Milne Bay – 10.
Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response and Police Commissioner Mr David Manning said many cases were asymptomatic which meant that they did not show any symptoms of COVID-19 at the time of testing.
Mr Manning said, “Those who are in this category may think that they are not contagious which is wrong. Both the symptomatic and asymptomatic patients are contagious and must be isolated from others to ensure this virus does not continue to spread.
“In PNG, it is difficult to isolate at home because we live with many people in one home or building, sharing amenities and therefore isolation at home is not encouraged.
“ Every province should by now have an isolation facility where people testing positive are to be kept until they are cleared by being tested again to ensure they are negative.
“This is for the good of everyone. We cannot have people who have tested positive to be living among others as they are likely to pass the virus to them.’’
Meanwhile, the high number of cases in the National Capital District is putting a lot of strain on the health system.
Mr Manning said many health workers have tested positive and have to be isolated.
In the meantime, a new COVID-19 centre is being constructed at the Port Moresby General Hospital, which will focus on this pandemic, while the hospital will cater for other diseases and health problems.
The new centre is being supported by the Australian Government, St John Ambulance, World Health Organisation, UNICEF and other partners in the delivery of health services.
Globally, Mr Manning said the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 has reached 123,005,025, of which 535,860 were recently reported in the last 24 hours. The deaths recorded since the outbreak stands at 2,715,392, of which 9,868 were reported in the last 24 hours.
Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force
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