Media Statement and Update from Deputy Controller & Acting Secretary of the Department of Health, Dr Paison Dakulala,

Good afternoon Papua New Guinea. Welcome to our daily updates on COVID-19.

As usual, we begin with the global and regional situation.

The figures I will give you will be from 24 April from the World Health Organisation.

Global Situation

Globally (cases) 2,626 321 total confirmed, 81,529 of which are new cases and 181,938 deaths (new – 6260).

Globally, the countries leading with the COVID-19 cases are mostly from the developed countries that have well-established health systems. These include USA, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Western Pacific Region

139,782 total confirmed with 5,869 deaths.

  • Australia: 6,667 (total confirmed cases), 13 (new cases), 76 (deaths), 2 (new deaths);
  • Philippines: 6,981 (total confirmed), 271 (new), 462 (deaths), 16 (new deaths);
  • Singapore: 11,178 (total confirmed), 103 (new cases), 12 (deaths), no new deaths;
  • New Zealand: 1,114 (total confirmed), 2 (new cases), 17  (deaths) 1  new death;
  • Guam: 135 (total confirmed), 2 (new cases), 5 (deaths), no new deaths;
  • French Polynesia:  57 (total confirmed), no new cases, no new deaths;
  • Fiji: 18 (total confirmed), no new cases, no new deaths;
  • North Marianas Islands: 14 (total confirmed), no new cases, 2 (deaths), no new deaths;
  • Indonesia: 7,775 (total number confirmed), 357 (new cases); 647 (deaths), 12 (new deaths); and
  • Papua New Guinea: 8 total number confirmed cases; no deaths.

Points of Entry Update (airport and seaports as of 25 April 2020)

A total of 30,424 people have been screened from the airport and seaports as of today, out of which 7,458 had been identified as persons of interest.

From this group, we now have 7,372 cleared after going through the process of tests and quarantine etc. The remaining POIs still being followed are now 86.

PNG COVID-19 Surveillance Update as of 25 April 2020

As of today, the surveillance team has collected 2370 samples for testing, out of which 1455 have been tested. Of this 1,447 came back negative and 8 positive. The latest case to PNG’s cases is from Eastern Highlands Province.

 Persons of Interest by province as of 23 April

We now have a total of 7,458. They are scattered all over the country. The figures are as follows

National capital District (NCD (3777),

Morobe (387),
New Ireland (316),
Western (172),
East New Britain (126),
Madang (124),
Western Highlands (115),
Central (112),
Eastern Highlands (107),
Hela (103),
Enga (82),
Southern Highlands (70),
East Sepik (58),
West New Britain (49),
Milne Bay (47),
West Sepik (43),
Bougainville (21),
Jiwaka (19), Oro (16),
Gulf Province (15),
Manus (14) and
Simbu (13).

Summary of Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) & contacts by lab result as of 25 April

As of today, samples have been collected from 2,384 people. The number of persons that have tested negative are 1,447 and 8 were confirmed. The total number of persons awaiting results from the laboratory is 937.

Contact tracing of NCD confirmed case

7,125 samples taken of NCD case, including workmates, relatives, close family members and neigbours have returned negative. The workmates include the NOC staff. Contacts have also been quarantined.

Contact tracing of ENB Province 2nd confirmed case

A total of 584 samples have been taken so far from 2 confirmed cases in ENB. These include samples from family members in five locked down villages of ENB. Out of this figure, 152 have been tested and had returned negative. The remaining 432 were sent to Brisbane yesterday after arriving at CPHL on April 22.

Contact tracing of 3 confirmed cases in Western Province

The three confirmed cases in Western Province are still in isolation in their house.

In the last 24 hours, 18 more people have been identified in the contact tracing for tests. This now makes 246 samples taken from the contacts of the three confirmed cases. In addition, samples were also collected from 293 others from the targeted border surveillance.

Eastern Highlands

The 45 year-old woman confirmed with COVID-19 is now isolated in Asaro. The Asaro District Hospital is now locked down. She is reported to have got sick after travelling back from Lae after staying with her brother. This brother has been identified and his sample was to have been collected for test this morning.

Message

Together we can get through this. Majority (95 %) of people who get sick with COVID-19 recover without complications and only a small percentage may require care in the hospital.

Also, not all those who go for test have the virus. This is contract tracing that is done to find out whether other people who have been exposed to the virus have it. During this time they are also quarantined as a precautionary measure to prevent any further transmission.

People with fever, cough and have difficulty in breathing can call the hotline 1800200 for medical attention.

For the rest of us, let us not stop taking preventive measures:

  • Cover your cough or cough into your elbow;
  • Practice social or physical distancing by keeping 1.5 to 2 meters apart;
  • Disinfect your work benches and personal things such as phone or laptop;
  • Avoid crowds and stay home if there is no reason for you to go out.

For media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
Team Leader – COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force
National Operations Centre 19
Mobile: 75430557 Email: ddkakas@gmail.com

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