Wednesday 24th March 2021
Papua New Guinea has reported a total of 560 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Wednesday 24th of March, 2021, raising the national total confirmed cases to 4,660.
The death toll remained at 39.
The new cases came from 13 provinces which were the National Capital District which reported the highest of 426. The others are Autonomous Region of Bougainville – 39; Morobe – 24; East New Britain – 15; Madang – 10; Chimbu – 11; Western Highlands – 9; Gulf – 8; New Ireland – 6; Southern Highlands – 5; Central – 3; Jiwaka – 3; and Eastern Highlands – 1.
The cumulative figures for the 20 provinces that have so far confirmed cases in the country are as follows:
- NCD – 2, 186;
- Western – 786;
- West Sepik – 342;
- Eastern Highlands – 202;
- West New Britain – 196;
- Morobe – 184;
- East New Britain – 138;
- Westerm Highlands – 117;
- Autonomous Region of Bougainville – 98;
- Madang – 70;
- New Ireland – 61;
- Enga – 50;
- East Sepik – 41;
- Central – 42;
- Southern Highlands – 38;
- Chimbu – 42;
- Jiwaka – 26;
- Hela – 19;
- Milne Bay – 11; and
- Gulf – 10.
Despite the high rise of cases, there are now Papua New Guineans who had COVID-19 coming out to share their experiences. These people include the Governor of Oro Garry Juffa and Madang MP and Justice Minister Bryan Kramer. Both have written about their experiences and shared them through the media so that others can learn from them.
“I had COVID-19. I am now COVID-19 free 13 days now,” posted Mr Juffa on social media on March 6.
“I am not sure where I contracted it, but I tested positive.”
Mr Juffa was sick for three full weeks and said, “It’s no laughing matter and I do not wish it upon anyone. I am fortunate it was not as bad as others. I am still not 100 per cent well although I am medically cleared of COVID-19 now.”
Justice Minister Kramer said he does not know where he contracted it but at the time he tested positive, he had no symptoms (asymptomatic) but by the next day he developed flu-like symptoms.
Mr Kramer’s case was mild. He wrote, “I felt light-headed and I had head and body aches that lasted three days. By day four I felt fine. By day 10, I was feeling like I had full recovery. I was tested again hoping to return a negative result. However, the result showed I was still infected. While I felt fine, I had to remain isolated to avoid infecting anyone else.”
Due to their experience, the two MPs are now advocating for people to listen and follow the health measures in place.
Since the testing started last year, a total of 63,700 people in PNG have been tested for COVID-19, out of which 4,660 have tested positive. The total number of recoveries is unclear. It requires all provinces to report on the clinical status of their cases on a daily basis. Like Kramer and Mr Juffa, not everyone gets better at the same rate. Some people may experience symptoms for several months.
Meanwhile, the Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response and Police Commissioner Mr David Manning is reminding everyone to continue to follow the health measures in the “Niupela Pasin”.
“Wash your hands often with water and soap, cough or sneeze into bent elbow – not your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces and limit social gatherings and time spent in crowded places. Avoid hugging and shaking hands. You can be nice to someone by waving, bowing and nodding. It’s still alright,” Mr Manning said.
The Controller said the rise of COVID-19 cases is not just happening in PNG.
“This is a global pandemic. For instance, our next-door neighbour, Indonesia, is also reporting a high number of cases daily,” Mr Manning said.
As of Wednesday, Indonesia reported a total of 1,471,225 confirmed cases, of which 5,297 were reported in the last 24 hours. It has a death toll of 39,771. Papua which shares the border with PNG has a total of confirmed cases of 18,963, of which 59 were new cases reported in the last 24 hours. Its death toll is 200.
On the other hand, West Papua has a total confirmed case of 8,134, of which 24 were reported in the last 24 hours. It has a death toll of 131.
Globally, the total confirmed cases as of Wednesday is 124,806,956 and 2,746,311 deaths recorded. The new confirmed cases reported in the last 24 hours is 486,240 and new deaths are 10,214.
Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force
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