NCD reports new COVID-19 case

The National Capital District is faced with its second COVID-19 case; the 9th positive case reported so far in Papua New Guinea.

This afternoon, the State of Emergency controller and key medical experts confirmed the case in a press conference.

Deputy SoE Controller, Dr Paison Dakulala, said the new case is a 44-year-old male expatriate, currently residing in the nation’s capital.

“Three tests were conducted using the GeneXpert and PCR (polymerase chain reaction). The third test came back positive, which was confirmed by Queensland laboratories. He is recovering at the moment.

“Since reporting his symptoms on June 9th, he has followed strict quarantine and isolation protocols. There are plans to repatriate him to his home country.”

The man is reported to have contracted the virus while in NCD.

He has been in the country since January.  

Dr Dakulala said the 44-year-old fell ill on June 5th and reported his situation through the hotline number on June 9th.

After a week in observation, he did not recover so tests were conducted.

“The Rapid Response team monitored him and after one week, his symptoms heightened, so they initiated contact tracing. So far, twenty-nine people were identified and eight of them are under quarantine,” Dr Dakulala said.

Director of the Central Public Health Laboratory, Dr Evelyn Lavu, said the first GeneXpert test was done on Wednesday 17th of June and the result received on Friday the 19th, from Brisbane.

“We did several tests in fact, beginning with the PNGIMR and the results came back positive in most, but we needed to be firm with our result because there have been a lot of questions surrounding the test results. And I would like to say that the tests done in this case, show that our testing procedures are working, after receiving a strong positive from Brisbane,” Dr Lavu said.

Meantime, the SoE Controller says there will not be any city-wide lockdown, but each citizen is expected to maintain the protocols that have recently been issued, as work continues in the contact tracing and testing space.  

The Rapid Response Team continues to identify more cases as the threat surrounding COVID-19 remains.

The biggest challenge in the country presently, is complacency.

Salome Vincent