Papua New Guinea recorded 19 more COVID-19 cases yesterday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 110.
This is a concern as COVID 19 numbers in Port Moresby continue to rise.
Controller David Manning in a statement said the new cases are mostly health workers and inpatients from the Port Moresby General Hospital with only one case in Lae.
These new cases now brings the total to 72 known active cases. These include 31 patients under care, with three critical cases, all in the Port Moresby General Hospital, including one on a ventilator.
“There are currently 2 moderate and 26 mild patients under care at Rita Flynn Isolation Centre after ten were discharged yesterday.
“Seventeen days ago, we announced the 13th case after no case was detected for a month. This is an increase of 98 cases in just 17 days and this is very concerning,” said Manning.
Samples sent to IMR in Goroka for further testing were also completed on Saturday and results made available.
“Our laboratory in Goroka completed 182 tests and confirmed 15 cases on polymerase chain reaction tests while the other 4 were tested on GeneXpert at the Port Moresby General Hospital. This brings the total number of tests completed to date to 10,471”.
He further reported a new case in Lae and said while the positive case in Lae is now stable and in isolation, contact tracing efforts is continuing in the Morobe capital.
“The daily increase is alarming and very serious for our country,” said Mr Manning.
As of Saturday, the health team with support from the NCD Provincial Health Authority have set up tents at Morata, Six Mile, Nine Mile, Gordons, Pari, Badili and Wanigela health clinics to set up screening areas for patients.
“This will greatly increase testing, identification and containment of the virus in the communities.
Controller Manning said they have also identified clusters of cases in Morata, Koki, Wanigela, Port Moresby General Hospital, The National Department of Health, the National Control Centre, Ensisi, 3 Mile, 2 Mile, East Boroko, UPNG, Gerehu, Hohola and Vadavada.
These areas have been identified as contacts of confirmed cases and tested.
Due to the significant number of new cases, the Health Advisory Committee made up of Papua New Guinean doctors have discussed and agreed upon a number of recommendations and measures.
“The measures are important at this time as it will allow the government and the frontline workers to respond to the current surge in NCD and to mitigate spreads to the rest of the country,” Mr Manning said.