25 New COVID-19 Cases Announced in Papua New Guinea

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25 New COVID-19 Cases Announced on Friday

By NBC News PNG | 07 Aug 2020

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Papua New Guinea’s COVID-19 cases has risen to 188 with the National Pandemic Control Centre announcing another 25 new cases on Friday night. Out of the new cases, 24 are in the National Capital District and one is in the autonomous region of Bougainville.

Deputy Controller of the National Pandemic Response Dr Paison Dakulala said in a statement that the results were announced after testing 319 samples from NCD, Bougainville, Morobe and Chimbu.

Dr Dakulala said the Bougainville case is a 22-year-old student who travelled from Port Moresby to Buka recently. More details of the youth will be announced later following contact tracing.

“Isolation and contact tracing of the patients will start tonight (Friday night) as the surveillance team in NCD gather more details about the 25 cases,” Dr Dakulala said.

He said a male foreigner was also reported positive at the Pacific International Hospital after he was sick with cold and flu symptoms and shortness of breath. The foreigner is a close contact of 12 other Filipinos who were confirmed positive on Wednesday this week.

“The foreigners work for a construction company and have no recent travel history out of the country,” Dr Dakulala said.

He said all the 13 Filipinos have been isolated at the Rita Flynn Isolation Centre.

He said over the past 22 days Papua New Guinea has seen a 7.5 per cent increase in the number of confirmed cases.

“This is an increase of 177 cases in 22 days, out of which 167 are in the NCD and 10 from the provinces and it is important that we start taking responsibility for our health and that of our family and community.”

“The youngest is a two year-old from Western Province. The infant was one of the seven cases from Tabubil that was recently announced.”

“Effective contact tracing by the provinces have indicated that the transmission was from people who had recently been in Port Moresby. These include the confirmed cases of AROB, Western, West Sepik and Southern Highlands provinces who have been contacts of cases who have been in Port Moresby,” said Deputy Controller Dr Dakulala, adding that as of tonight (Friday night), there will travel restrictions limiting persons travelling by aircraft from one province to another province.

“This is part of the government’s strategy to contain the spread of the transmission to other provinces.”

“Other strategies include the setting up of testing areas in urban clinics in NCD, including the calling out the PNG Defense Force to assist the police in the COVID-19 emergency operations.

“We are calling on all Papua New Guineans to adhere and practice health measures by washing your hands, coughing into your elbows, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, avoid crowded areas and stay at home if you are sick,” Dr Dakulala said.

Meanwhile the Rita Flynn Isolation Centre has reopened testing after staff went on strike for non-payment of salaries.

“We understand the critical role the health staff at the Rita Flynn are playing therefore we have resolved the issue today (Friday).”

NBC News

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