Tuesday 1 September 2020 t 4:50 pm
Standard operating procedures have been developed to deal with people who have died from COVID-19 or from existing conditions which have been enhanced when they contracted the Coronavirus or COVID-19.
In his media briefing this afternoon, Controller of the National Pandemic Response David Manning. said , “ COVID-19 is a fairly new disease which the world knows very little of and we are only just beginning to understand its characteristics, enough to enable us to develop protocols to deal with it, as well as standard operating procedures to address related issues such as announcement of COVID-19 related deaths, storage of bodies, access to bodies by relatives and post mortem requirements.”
Mr Manning made this comment following concerns raised by the family of late Michael Ene, one of the persons listed on the PNG COVID-19 statistics as having died from COVID-19.
“At the outset I wish to express my sincere condolences to the family of late Michael Ene as well as the other four persons who have been listed on the PNG statistics as having died from COVID-19.
“I understand that the family of late Michael are refuting that his death on Monday July 27 at the Port Moresby General Hospital was caused by the Coronavirus or COVID-19.
“I sincerely apologise to the relatives of late Michael because at the time of his death, the lack of SOPs coupled with some administrative bureaucratic red tape prevented the family from accessing his body.
“We have since developed standard operating procedures to deal with people who have died from COVID-19 or from existing conditions which have been enhanced when they contracted the Coronavirus”
Mr Manning said whilst it is their rights to raise such a claim, he further reminded them that , COVID-19 is real and is here in PNG.
“ And whilst most people will display some symptoms when they contract the disease, a good majority of us will recover. However, COVID-19 can be fatal for people with pre-existing medical conditions.”
In the case of late Michael, he had serious ongoing medical conditions and was ill for some weeks before he was referred to the Port Moresby General Hospital.
His presentation was fever, sore throat as per the case Investigation Form when his samples were collected.
Test was conducted by Genexpert at PMGH, and PCR at the IMR, Brisbane and Singapore, where all results were positive.
“Our medical team can confirm that he meets the case definition for COVID-19 death..
“As I said, it was rather unfortunate that we did not have at that time the protocols in place to deal with COVID-19 deaths.
“Having these protocols in place would have allowed us to avoid the frustrations and misunderstandings on both the part of the family and us at the National Control Centre,” Mr Manning said.
Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force
Mobile: 75430557 : Email: firstname.lastname@example.org