New case in Eastern Highlands brings PNG COVID-19 cases to 8

Greetings people of Papua New Guinea.

It is my duty to inform you that we have another COVID-19 case in Eastern Highlands Province, bringing our total number of infected persons to 8.

Our most recent case is a 45-year old female, originally from the Eastern Highlands.

It has been reported that two weeks ago she developed fever and shortness of breath and body aches. She then presented herself to the Asaro Health Centre on the 12th of April and was immediately admitted at the health centre. She was managed for one week and improved.

Whilst admitted on 17th of April her samples were collected and sent to PNG Institute of Medical Research in Goroka. Her test returned positive four days later.

For quality assurance and best practice we are doing a second test for this patient. This is also being done for the positive cases that we have tested already.

She was managed by the staff at the Asaro Health Centre. Currently, the health centre is locked down for disinfection and the staff have been advised to be home-quarantined and are kept under surveillance.

The Eastern Highlands Provincial Health Authority will be taking care of the Asaro health centre staff during their lockdown. The management is also working with the police to manage any potential social issues arising from this case.

In the meantime advocacy and contact tracing activities have begun starting today.

As you have seen from today’s update, there is a lot going on in the COVID-19 response in different areas such as screening and surveillance.

As per my update yesterday, I repeat the following directives which have been made to ensure life continues in the “new normal”:

  • Universities and tertiary education continues next Monday 27th of April;
  • Primary and secondary schools resumes on the 4th of May 2020. All COVID-19 health protocols are to be strictly observed;
  • All public transportation are still prohibited. Taxis may operate as long as there are not more than 3 passengers and in areas where there is a curfew such as the NCD they are not to operate at night. Strict COVID-19 health protocols will have to be followed;
  • All domestic air travel to resume but only to provinces where there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19;
  • All ships are allowed to berth and unload cargoes only. No passenger is allowed to disembark and no-one is allowed to board. At all times PPEs must be worn by both ship crew and port workers;

I am aware of the issue of thousands of Papua Guineans who have been laid off and advise that I am in meetings with the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations, the Union and the Employees and the Government to find a solution.

For members of the security forces, especially the police I urge you to do your job honestly and with due care.

My warning still stands, I will come down hard on any member of the police who abuse our citizens during the SOE.

Members of the public are advised to report any abusive conduct by members of the police force on the Police Internal Affairs hot line telephone number 3202634.

In concluding let me reassure the people of PNG that we are taking note of your many concerns during the SOE and addressing them as we go along. We are committed to your safety and wellbeing.

Thank you and God bless you all.

Approved for release

David Manning, MBE, DPS, QPM


Commissioner of Police


For media contact:Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS

Team Leader – COVID-19 Media & Public Information

Joint Agency Task Force

Mobile: 75430557 :Email:

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