West Papua poses COVID-19 threat to PNG : Dakulala

Monday 25 May 2020: 7:04pm

The State of Emergency Deputy Controller and Acting Secretary for Health,  Dr Paison Dakulala says the daily increase of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in West Papua poses a great threat to Papua New Guinea.

Deputy Controller and Acting Secretary for Health,  Dr Paison Dakulala

The Papua Region of Indonesia has seen an increase of 65 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours bringing a total of 686 confirmed cases.

Dr Dakulala said today that the alarming increase means that PNG is still in the danger zone and its people must not be complacent.

“With the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in West Papua, the PNG Government is revisiting its strategies along the Western border with Indonesia.

“To ensure that the movement of people across the border is tightened to simply avoid possible transmission of COVID-19 in PNG.

“To date, there are no deaths in the country and therefore our Health team and the security forces are on the ground ensuring that this COVID-19 transmission must not take place,” the Acting Secretary said.

At this stage, PNG had only eight confirmed cases of COVID-19, the last case was reported about a month ago. All eight have since recovered.

As of today, globally a total of 5,497,998 confirmed cases with 346,685 deaths. This is an increase of 5,125,243 (5.1) million confirmed cases and 330,454 deaths in just 63 days since the SoE begun.

The country with the highest total number of cases is the United States of  America  (USA), which has 1,686,436, and the total deaths of 99,300. The next is Brazil with 365,213 cases which has recorded 22,746 deaths so far.

In the Western Pacific region, the selected countries worth noting are;

Australia – 7,114 (102 deaths); Philippines – 14,035 (868 deaths); Singapore – 31,616 (23 deaths); New Zealand – 1,504 (21 deaths); Guam – 161 (5 deaths); French Polynesia – 89 (no deaths); New Caledonia – 18 (no deaths); Fiji -18 (no deaths); North Mariana Islands – 22 (2 deaths); Indonesia – 22,271 (1,372 deaths); Papua – 556 (8 deaths); and West Papua – 130 (2 deaths).

Meanwhile, as of today a total of 31,361 inbound passengers were screened at Jackson’s International Airport and seaport in Port Moresby.

A total of 8,517 travelers were screened and identified to be monitored regularly by the surveillance team.

Of the 8,517 travelers under monitoring, 8,076 have completed the 14-day follow-up period, while 441 are still on active monitoring.

For PNG citizens and residents stranded abroad, the PNG Government is earnestly working to bring them back to the country. This includes the 127 in Fiji.

Deputy Controller Dakulala said the PNG Government is arranging an aircraft to bring them home.

This aircraft is also scheduled to stop over in the Solomon Islands to deliver 600 kilograms of  personal protective equipment (PPE) and uplift 10 tonnes of PPE from Fiji to PNG.


Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS

Team Leader – COVID-19 Media & Public Information Joint Agency Task Force

Mobile: 75430557: Email: ddkakas@gmail.com

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