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Another Health Dept Staff Tests Positive

Papua New Guinea has one new case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) reported yesterday bringing total cases to 111.

National Pandemic Response Controller, David Manning in a statement late yesterday said the new case is a 27-year-old male of the National Department of Health and is in isolation at the Rita Flynn Courts. He was tested during a targeted testing of the health staff following the confirmation of seven staff with COVID-19 at the department.

“Over the past 48 hours we have conducted more than 1,906 tests. This includes testing of staff of the National Control Centre, the National Department of Health as well as inpatients and staff at the Port Moresby General Hospital.

“I thank residents in Port Moresby for their patience and for presenting themselves at the hospital and health facilities in the city for testing.

“What you are doing is essential to limit any potential spread of COVID-19. Getting tested helps us find any cases in the community as quickly as possible. This ensures we are doing everything we can to manage the pandemic,” Mr Manning said.

He encouraged all residents of NCD to continue to come forward for testing if they have developed any COVID-19 symptoms, even if mild. Symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, chills, runny nose, shortness of breath and muscle ache.

“As of today, there are testing facilities right across the city and swabbing has started at the Lawes Road, Gordons, Pari and Tokara clinics. It’s really important if you’re showing any symptoms at all, please go get tested.

Manning also stressed the importance of wearing masks, Social Distancing, washing hands with soap and water or the use of hand sanitisers and not to stand in crowded locations.

Recommendations and control measures proposed by the COVID-19 Health Advisory Committee will also be discussed to ensure the measures are reflective of the need of Papua New Guineans.

Meanwhile contact tracing for the two cases in Lae is continuing with results for the 74 contacts of the second Lae case will be available tomorrow. The third case identified on Sunday has been isolated at the 11 Mile Isolation Centre.

Commissioner Manning said these new cases now bring the total to 73 known active cases. These include 33 patients under care, with four admitted to the Port Moresby General Hospital.

“There are currently one moderate and 28 mild patients under care at Rita Flynn Isolation Centre after five were discharged today,” said Mr Manning.

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