The National COVID-19 Operations Centre today held its first virtual briefing, an initiative that now replaces the usual media gathering at Waigini.
From the conference, Deputy Incident Manager, Dr Melinda Susapu, says there is a breakdown in communication of COVID-19 patient data coming from the provinces to the National Response team.
As a result, critical data needed to understand the extent of infections is not being received on a timely basis.
It’s been a year since PNG joined the rest of the planet to combat COVID-19.
The local health response backed by advice of the World Health Organization formed the current strategies to prevent further infection.
However there is an obvious breakdown.
“There is a responsibility of making sure that we get our results on time. Again we urge all the provinces who are calling to samples to please send the samples on time as it is very critical for our turn around time,” Dr Susapu said.
For a health problem of this magnitude, it requires a sophisticated yet coordinated response.
Dr. Susapu reminds the health personnel and managers to report timely information required to help the understanding of the coronavirus disease in real-time.
“The sample need to be sent through to the national level so that we can capture the data that we have here, which also includes death certificates especially for COVID-19 cases, we need our data to be updated daily.”
PNG’s total cases at present are over seven thousand, with recorded deaths now at 67.
Testing to-date is above 67 thousand with an outstanding 2400 still pending results.
“PNG’s total has accumulated to 7406 cases reported since the start of the pandemic, we have six new deaths reported in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 67”
When asked about the recoveries, the response was linked to the untimely reporting from the frontline.
“There are a lot of recovery cases but the provinces need to get in-touch with us about the numbers that they have on the ground, including the numbers in isolation, whether it’s at home or in a facility so that the numbers that we give are correct,” said Dr Susapu.
NCD currently has the highest cases at present according to the national response team.