COVID-19 Delta Variant Surge

Delta Variant, the dreaded COVID-19 strand is on the increase in many parts of the country with 67 new cases reported from the Dobery Institute in Melbourne, released on 28th of September by the National Control Centre.

This was revealed by the Deputy Controller of National COVID-19 Pandemic, Dr. Esorom Daoni when he hosting a virtual media conference on this week.

He said the provinces can be categorized either as high risk or a low risk basing on the rate of infection and number of deaths. 

Out of 67 cases, 98 percent of the cases are locally acquired transmission. 

To date the high risk provinces are West Sepik, Western and Eastern Highlands provinces with others categorized as medium risk, however Dr. Daoni said those in medium risk should also be upgraded to high risk status.

He said with 227 known deaths, 180 confirmed new cases now, and low rate of immunization, Dr. Daoni warned PHAs to increase vaccination coverage. 

He said so far only 7 percent of the eligible population (185,605) are vaccinated leaving the other 97 percent at risk. 

Dr. Daoni said this current surge will see a lot more people with symptoms of Delta Variant and hospitals will be full. At the Port Moresby General Hospital the isolation ward is full to capacity and so is the Goroka Provincial Hospital. He added that soon the hospitals will not be able to contain the numbers of admission.

He mentioned that K14 million is needed to address the current surge of COVID-19 but added that it is the responsibility of each provincial health authorities to tackle the issue.

Dr. Daoni said the number of positive cases are increasing by the day and he urged all people to adhere to the Niupela Pasin or New Normal to keep safe.

Dr. Daoni concluded by saying that all of the known deaths including front line health workers were people who were not vaccinated.

Frieda Kana