The spread of COVID-19 globally is alarming says Dakulala

Tuesday 14  July 2020

THE RATE at which the corona-virus disease 2019 is spreading in the world is alarming and everyone in this country is urged to take heed says Deputy Controller and Acting Secretary for Health,  Dr Paison Dakulala.

Everyday there is a ‘new world record’ being set as the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to increase.

Two days ago, the global total confirmed cases had gone past the 13 million mark and is today confirmed at 13,238,448.

There are now over 200,000 new cases and over 5,200 deaths being reported daily. Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia are amongst the countries reporting new cases every day.

“The statistics are telling us that this is serious. The pandemic is not over yet so we must not be complacent but continue to be vigilant by adhering to the health measures in place.

“If we are in the shops or banks, we ought to practice social distancing by standing about 1.5 to 2 metres away from the next person.

“ If this is difficult we should wear a mask,” Dr Dakulala said, adding that the same must be done in Public Motor Vehicles (PMVs) and large gatherings such as church meetings and conventions.”

Dr Dakulala says  those measures  are  there to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading in this country and causing harm as it is doing in many countries.

At this stage PNG has tested 8,538 people for COVID-19 out of which only 8 have tested positive. All have recovered while the last two are still being monitored. The low number of positive cases may be attributed to low testing rates.

All health facilities have been given directives to swab and test for any form of respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, influenza and severe acute respiratory infections.

Health workers have also been trained, provided with necessary Personal Protective Equipment and sample collection equipment.

Meanwhile, a number of countries that had planned to open their air spaces and international airports are likely to be hard hit due to the rapid rise of cases. Among them is the Philippines which has been reporting very high numbers.

The Philippines  on Sunday  reported a total confirmed cases of 56,259 and a death toll of 1,534, including 162 deaths in one single day on that day alone. On Monday, the it  reported 747 new cases and 65 new deaths.

Australia is also reporting a high number of new cases, and is currently the only country that PNG has direct flights to.

Australia on Sunday,  reported 243 new cases and one death within 24 hours, bringing its total confirmed cases to 9,796 and a death toll of 108.

“ Yesterday, it reported 184 new cases and today it reported additional 270 new cases bringing its total confirmed cases to 10,250,” Dr Dakulala said.

Other countries in the Western Pacific region that have been reporting new cases included Singapore which has now confirmed cases of 46,283; Japan – 21,868; China – 83,602; Malaysia – 8,725; South Korea – 13,479; and New Zealand – 1,544.

Fiji has reported 26 new cases, eight of which have been reported in the last five days after being quiet for about two months.

Indonesia, the country that shares a land border with PNG, reported a total of 1,681 new cases on Monday, bringing its total confirmed cases to 75,699 and a death toll of 3,606 of which 71 were from the last 24 hours.

The two provinces – West Papua and Papua – have each reported 4 and 63 new cases in the past four hours, bringing the total confirmed cases to 2,553. The death total in the two provinces on Monday was 26.

“The 71 deaths reported in Indonesia on one single day on Sunday is very high. This is a warning to its neighbouring countries to continue to adhere to the health protocols in place,’’  Dr Dakulala said.


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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