PNG Government’s Effort in Stopping the Spread of COVID-19

The Marape/Stevens Government are committed to keeping you informed during the State of Emergency about the Governments efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Minister for Health and HIV/ Aids Honourable Jelta Wong is hoping all information spread is shared with all family members and communities.

“As of 3pm, 28th March 2020, I am happy to report that we have screened 29,166 Passengers, we have cleared over 55% of our Persons of Interest and have 8 Persons Under Investigation,”said Minister Wong.

Minister Wong said,Papua New Guinea currently have 580 Universal Transport Mediums or UTMs in country and we expect 4000 more to arrive in the country next week. In layman’s terms – these are our testing kits that allow for Oral and Nasal swabbing.

“Our colleagues at the Institute of Medical Research currently have 9 samples pending results. We will report on the results of these tests in the coming days,” Minister Wong stated.

He said, additional PCR Testing Equipment arrived in Port Moresby on the 26th of March, and is currently going through optimization.

Minister Wong said, the target date for Port Moresby testing is Wednesday the 1st of April.

He added that,the team at the National Department of Health are working around the clock to bring online the CPHL testing facility by the 8th of April. This will enable us to conduct a further 200 tests per day.

“Collectively by the first quarter of April, we will have the ability to conduct 700 tests per day in the country”.

He said this is a fantastic commitment by the Government to consolidate our efforts in Health, in less than 2 weeks after our first confirmed case.

We are working with our Aid partners to secure additional stock of PPE and Air Niugini stand ready to assist with transport if our partners are unable to send here or send to ports where we fly to.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is working across the full Papua New Guinea-Australia partnership to provide support to the PNG Government response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Australian Government will reprioritize over K47m from existing commitments to provide a wide-ranging package of support that builds on our current partnership, while providing our direct assistance to PNG to prepare and respond for a potential outbreak.

Minister Wong is encouraging the team to working around the clock to keep you all safe. However he urged everyone to help protect yourselves and your family by reminding you of the 5 key messages;

Wash your hands Often

Cough into your elbow

Don’t touch your face

Keep a safe distance from others

Simply stay home.

Minister Wong reminded everyone to remember that the Virus doesn’t move, People move it. We stop moving. The Virus stops moving.

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