Manning calls for proper handling of COVID-19 swab samples

PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response
Joint Agency Task Force

Monday 25th January 2021

Manning calls for proper handling of COVID-19 swab samples

Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response David Manning has called for proper handling of swab samples to get the desired outcome.
Mr Manning says proper handling of samples ensures they are of quality when they reach the laboratories for further testing.
Mr Manning said there must be a proactive approach in testing and screening of citizens for COVID-19. He expressed concern that the testing rates for COVID-19 in the country has been critically low lately.

“We can only find out the extent of the outbreak in the country if we proactively test people,” he said.

Meanwhile, the country’s COVID-19 cases have reached 850 with nine known deaths. A total of 41,289 people have been tested for COVID-19. Of the 850 cases, 812 people have recovered, 90 samples are pending at the laboratories and 29 active cases are currently in isolation.

Sixteen provinces including the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) have reported cases. The distribution of the cases is as follows:

Provinces               Confirmed Cases

NCD                          367

Western Province      214

West New Britain       168

East New Britain          30

New Ireland                 19

Eastern Highlands       13

Western Highlands      10

Central                         10

Morobe                         6

East Sepik                    3

Enga                             3

Milne Bay                      2

West Sepik                    2

Southern Highlands       1

AROB                            1

Hela Province                1

TOTAL                        850

Globally, the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 have reached 97,464,094 including 577,301 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.

The death toll is 2,112,689 of which 13,688 were reported in the last 24 hours.

Mr Manning repeated his calls for citizens to follow the “Niupela Pasin” or New Normal under COVID-19. He said the disease is real and all citizens should by now make the “Niupela Pasin” part of their life.

“Please wear a face mask in public places, avoid shaking hands or physical contact, avoid crowds, maintain physical distancing and regularly wash hands or sanitise your hands.

“God has spared us from the wrath of COVID-19 but let us not take this for granted. We must do our part to protect ourselves and our loved ones. More than two million people have died globally from COVID-19 so please be proactive in preventing its spread in PNG,” Mr Manning said.

Meanwhile, the National Court made a ruling on Friday 22 January that Mr Manning’s appointment as Police Commissioner was unlawful and quashed his appointment. Further, the court gave Mr Manning until 12 noon on Friday 29 January to vacate the office of the Police Commissioner.

Mr Manning said this decision may have some bearing on his appointment also as the Controller of the COVID-19 National Pandemic Response.

“Whilst I respect the decision of the court it is within my constitutional right to seek legal advice as to my next course of action,” Mr Manning said.

David Manning, MBE, DPS, QPM
PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response

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