Prime Minister Hon. James Marape confirmed Thursday, 16 April, of five new cases of coronavirus in Papua New Guinea.
This brings to a total of seven persons who have now contracted the coronavirus diseases 19 (COVID-19).
Briefly the seven persons who have contracted the disease are all well.
“This includes the first imported case, a male adult Australian mine employee who is now in Australia and has recovered. And the second, a local female in the East New Britain Province.”
The five new persons include:- a 12 year old male, a 30 year old male; and an adult female, age unknown, who are all from the Western Province; the fourth case is a 42 year old female from the National Capital District and the fifth person is a 37 year old male from East New Britain.
Mr Marape said those cases were consistently positive after repeated tests, adding those people p are well and under observation and in quarantine .
For the East New Britain cases both patients are under observation and are being monitored by the East New Britain Provincial Health Authority.
One thousand Universal Transport Medium (kits for transporting samples) and swabs for sample collection have reached Daru and 200 to Kiunga. Twenty-two cartons of assorted personal protective equipment (PPEs) have been deployed to Western Province as of April 15, 2020.
The Rapid Response Teams are already on the ground in the Western Province and initiating the contact tracing.
“The latest case in the NCD is a member of the Joint Agency Task Force who was tested positive and since been isolated and quarantined. We have begun contact tracing as well.”
Mr Marape said 500,000 PPEs and 3,100 UTMs are available in NCD and should be sufficient for the Capital city.
While in the East New Britain Province, 500 swabs and UTMs have been deployed with an additional 1,000 on its way, and a further 47 cartons of PPEs have already been deployed to the province as well.
“For Western and East New Britain Provinces we are emphasising on home quarantine. For this I must thank the community and their leaders for supporting the Government in ensuring that this quarantine adhered to.
“As has been the norm in our previous cases we have locked down the Joint Agency Task Force National Operations Centre to carry out testing of all our staff as part of the standard operating procedures,” Mr Marape said.
Prime Minister Marape urged all citizens to remain calm. “Stop worrying and start seriously practicing the health messages we have been advocating. If you faithfully observe these instructions you will protect yourself and your family and stop the spread of COVID-19.
“God has protected us thus far and he will continue to do so.”
He further urged Papua New Guineans to follow the prevention health messages to minimise the spread of the virus:
- Wash your hands often
- Cover your mouth with our elbow when coughing
- Do not touch your mouth, nose and eyes
- Practise social distancing
- Don’t go to crowded places and
- If you have no reasons to move around please Stay home.