The National Command Center has just announced two new COVID-19 cases in Port Moresby.
The 18th case is a 53-year-old man with no history of travel and was experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath and was tested via GeneXpert Testing.
The 19th case is a 39-year-old man who works as a medical officer.
Deputy Controller, Dr Paison Dakulala, has stated that targeted testing strategy has given more efficient use of resources, rather than a wide net testing.
The focus is on testing symptomatic patients and pre-triaging is the key.
Dakulala stressing his concern over the fact that the last five positive cases had been health workers.
“We have symptomatic people in our communities who are not staying home, but being socially active.”
Dakulala stated, that these people going to work, schools, moving around and possibly infecting others need to present themselves for testing.
The National Control Centre has been challenged to upscale testing throughout the country while taking stock of quantities of Universal Transport Medium’s available locally and throughout the world.
The levels of PPE are at an acceptable level and staff are undergoing refresher courses around Infection Protection Control.
Meanwhile a concerned Controller, David Manning stated that these statistics are truly are alarming.
He said, the argument that we are immune from COVID-19 or blessed with protection against the virus can easily be dispelled with what our statistics have shown us over the last 5 days.
“We have initiated 200 tests and of those tests specifically, we have identified 7 positive cases.”
Manning stressing that these rates are even alarming against world standards.
“This brings the number of active cases being isolated by the NCD PHA team to 7.”
“The capacity at Rita Flynn Emergency Ward for isolation is 70, at the current rate of infection per day and using exponential modelling, this has the potential to be reached by the end of the month” said Manning.
There are now calls for all Public Health Authorities to take ownership of their territories and ensure testing is conducted at clinics.