This is PNG’s tenth case of COVID-19. She works at the PNG Defence Force at Murray Barracks but lives off-site in a shared accommodation. She was tested as part of the ongoing mass testing of the staff at the barracks following the announcement of the 9th patient on June 20. Her positive PCR test result was received today from the Queensland Health Laboratory in Brisbane, Australia.
The rapid response team of the National Capital District (NCD) is now deployed to conduct case investigation and contact tracing, in collaboration with the teams from the National Department of Health (NDOH), PNG Defense Force, the Australian Defense Force and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The identification of this case provides evidence of local transmission in Port Moresby and the risk is very high that more cases may be identified in the coming days. Papua New Guineans need to take responsibility and remain vigilant to stop the chain of transmission.
“The country needs to work together to apply the “Niupela Pasin” or the ‘new normal’. This will involve changing our old ways of doing things and replacing them with behaviours and actions to reduce risk of getting infection.
“Putting this outbreak in control will be our shared responsibility. I urge people to stop from converging and mass gathering,” Mr Manning said.
He added that these measures include:
- Anyone who has flu-like symptoms must stay at home and stay away from others;
- Physical distancing of at least 1-meter must be adhered to in all public places and the wearing of masks;
- All business establishments and offices must have hand washing facilities and make available hand sanitizers for visitors;
- Greet each other with a simple smile, a nod or a wave;
- Avoid physical contact; and
- Temperature checks must be consistently imposed and deny entry to those with symptoms.
“I know that this new case may cause worry in the public. I call on our people to be calm as we need your cooperation as our teams conduct the case investigation. The best support we need from the public is to protect yourselves and your families.
“I emphasize once again, anyone who is experiencing flu-like symptoms, fevers, coughs, sore throats, body aches or difficulty breathing must stay at home and immediately call our toll free line 1800 200,” Mr Manning added.
Meanwhile Mr Manning said that the 9th COVID-19 case, a foreign expatriate who is a member of the Australian Defence Force safely returned to Australia today with the assistance of the Australian Government.
The Australian Defence Force soldier was scheduled to return home earlier this week, however since testing positive he was directed to remain in quarantine until he was fit to travel.
"The gentleman is in a stable condition, and we are confident our medical counterparts in Australia will ensure he returns to his family once their final medical clearances are completed,” Mr Manning said.
The Controller called upon people of PNG to continue to be vigilant and faithfully and diligently practise the COVID-19 health protocols.