Thursday 11 March 2021
A total of 163 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were reported today, (March 11), raising Papua New Guinea’s total COVID-19 cases to 1,976 since the global pandemic was reported last year.
The new cases came from 12 provinces, of which Chimbu reported its first four (4) new cases which now makes 19 of the 22 provinces in the country that have so far reported confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The other confirmed cases were recorded in the : National Capital District with 57 persons; West Sepik 32; Morobe 32; Madang 1; Autonomous Region of Bougainville 5; Eastern Highlands 1; Western Highlands 15; Central 2; East Sepik 1; Enga 5; and Jiwaka 8.
The cumulative figures for the 19 provinces are now as follows:
- NCD – 887;
- Western – 324;
- West New Britain – 197;
- West Sepik – 191;
- Morobe – 87;
- Madang – 44;
- Autonomous Region of Bougainville – 44;
- East New Britain – 39;
- Eastern Highlands – 28;
- Western Highlands – 33;
- New Ireland – 23;
- Central – 22;
- East Sepik – 16;
- Enga – 15;
- Jiwaka – 16;
- Chimbu – 4;
- Southern Highlands – 3;
- Milne Bay – 2; and
- Hela – 1.
Health workers have warned that the cases will increase in big numbers in the coming days due to people not taking heed of the warnings, including congregating in mass gatherings.
Chief Emergency Doctor at the Accident and Emergency Division of the Port Moresby General Hospital Dr Sam Yockopua has warned that the situation is serious and he will not hesitate to take action to protect his staff.
“I will not let my health workers die in their jobs because of some stupid people who are ignoring the health measures in place,’’ he said.
Dr Yockopua and the hospital’s long-time gynecologist Professor Glen Mola have each separately sent out warnings for people to take the situation seriously and adhere to the health measures in place.
“ But if the people do not listen and get sick, they may end up going for medical help at the private hospitals as the PMGH health workers will be sent home to protect themselves,” Dr Yockopua said.
Both Dr Yockopua and Prof Mola are calling on the people to follow the health measures in the Niupela Pasin such as wearing of facemasks, social distancing, washing hands often or sanitizing hands, avoiding crowds, covering one’s cough, and cleaning of work benches, personal items such as phones and laptops.
The Niupela Pasin also discourages hugging, shaking hands and even fist bumps. You can only nod or bow when greeting someone to avoid passing the infection or contracting the disease from another person.
Police Commissioner and the Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response, David Manning, said COVID-19 is an infectious disease. There are now new variants affecting many countries which are more easily transmissible than the original one.
He supported calls made by the two senior health workers – Dr Yockopua and Prof Mola – saying COVID-19 is now not a new disease anymore and everyone has a responsibility to themselves and others to strictly comply with the health measures in place.
Mr Manning said, “We know now how this disease spreads and what we need to do. Please let us all collectively work together to prevent the further spread of this disease. We have been saying all along that we need to do what we can to protect our health workers so please do what you can, but if you get sick do not hesitate to seek help. The hotline is 1800200. There will be someone to help you get tested and get help.’’
Mr Manning issued 12 new measures last week in light of the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Meanwhile, as of Thursday March 11, the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally has reached 117,332,262, of which 433,992 were new cases reported within 24 hours. There were also 7,413 new deaths reported increasing the death toll to 2,605,356 since the outbreak began last year.
Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force
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