12 Delta Variant cases reported

In yesterday’s virtual media conference with the National Control Centre (NCC) for COVID-19, Deputy Controller Dr Esorom Daoni confirmed there are 12 cases of the Delta Variant of COVID-19 in the country.

Dr Daoni reported that the latest cases are three males from Western Province. He said the NCC will be sending a team to Western Province, as they did with Madang, to help with contact tracing and provide technical advice and guidance on how to respond to the cases on ground. 

The Deputy Controller also said testing in Papua New Guinea has reduced since March, and therefore it is difficult to know how widespread the transmission of Delta Variant is. 

Dr Daoni said all health facilities were instructed to test cases of Influenza-like illnesses (ILI), Severe Acute Respiratory Illnesses (SARI) and suspected cases of COVID-19/. However, not all health facilities are adhering to this instruction.

He said, "If you have a low level of testing, and have a high uptake of detection of positive cases (at the moment it's 12% ) and you have a large pool of unvaccinated people, that is a recipe for major spread of the Delta Variant.''

Dr Daoni added that there is anecdotal evidence from Madang's Modilon Hospital and at the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH), of increasing number of deaths with unknown causes. A circular has been issued to PMGH to swab all corpses with unknown causes of death, and those with respiratory illnesses. 

Press Release