The National Pandemic Control Centre has also confirmed another 25 cases tonight, bringing the total COVID-19 cases in Papua New Guinea to 188 to date.
This includes 24 cases from the National Capital District and one from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARoB). The results were announced tonight after testing 319 samples from NCD, AROB, Morobe and Simbu.
Deputy Pandemic Controller, Dr Paison Dakulala in a statement said the ARoB patient is a 22-year-old student who traveled from Port Moresby to Buka recently.
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 5 August. The foreigners work for a construction company and have no recent travel history out of the country.
Dr Dakulala stated that this individual brings to total 15 foreigners who have been tested positive in Papua New Guinea. This includes the index case of 20 March, the Australian Defence personnel and the 13 Filipinos from this week. All the 13 Filipinos have been isolated at the Rita Flynn Isolation Centre.
Over the past 22 days Papua New Guinea has seen a 7.5 per cent increase in the number of cases, bringing the total number of positive cases to 188.
Deputy Controller of the National Pandemic Response Dr Paison Dakulala said, “This is an increase of 177 cases in 22 days and it is important that we start taking responsibility for our health and that of our family and community.
“Papua New Guinea in the past 22 days has confirmed 177 cases, out of which 167 are from NCD and 10 from the provinces.
“The youngest is a two year-old from Western Province. The infant was one of the seven cases from Tabubil that was recently announced.
“Isolation and contact tracing of the patients will start tonight as the surveillance team in NCD gather more details about the 25 cases.”
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 (7 August).
“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, there will travel restrictions limiting persons travelling by aircraft from one province in PNG 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.