Manning calls on provinces to double efforts in COVID-19 testing

Friday 18 September 2020

The Controller of the National Pandemic Response, Mr David Manning, has called on all provinces to double their efforts in collecting swab samples for COVID-19 testing.

“We must be able to identify COVID-19 cases quickly, provide timely medical care to those who are sick and quarantine contacts so we reduce the risk of further transmission,” says Mr Manning.

To date, only 15 of the 22 provinces are sending reports on COVID-19 related activities on a daily basis to the National Control Centre, thus prompting calls from Controller Manning for the remaining provinces to comply.

Mr Manning repeated his earlier reminder to health facilities throughout the country to do more swabbing according to the testing strategy.

“I also call on every Papua New Guinean to take responsibility for your personal health. Getting tested would mean saving your own life and that of your family, friends and community.”

The call by Mr Manning comes at a time when the drive thru testing centre of St John Ambulance at the Taurama Aquatic Centre in the National Capital District has reported a drop in the number of people coming for testing.

St John Ambulance Director for Executive Services, Shirellyne Pielo, says the trend is worrying as there are now less number of residents coming forward for swab sample collection.

Mr Manning says it’s only through laboratory tests that we can confirm the presence of the virus and those infected can get the proper medical care.

“Also, knowing your COVID-19 status can prevent you from spreading the virus to your family and friends,” Mr Manning said.

For the fourth day in a row, no COVID-19 case was reported in the country. The country’s confirmed cases remain at 516, with six deaths.

So far, 13 provinces in the country have confirmed cases:

  • National Capital District (NCD) – 301
  • Western Province – 189
  • Central –  7
  • Morobe                  – 5
  • East Sepik  – 3
  • East New Britain  – 2
  • West New Britain  – 2
  • Milne Bay – 2
  • Southern Highlands,  1
  • Eastern Highlands    1
  • West Sepik,               1
  • New Ireland               1
  • Autonomous Region of Bougainville 1

Globally, the total confirmed cases are now 30,308,002 and the death toll stands at 949,667. There was an increase of 280,885 confirmed cases in the last 24 hours.

In the Western Pacific region, a total of 10 countries/territories had confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total confirmed cases for the region to 568,902 cases and 12,452 deaths.


Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force
Mobile: 75430557 email:
COVID-19 JATF email:

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