The deputy state of emergency controller says they were not surprised with this result as she was already on the road to recovery.
In this afternoon’s COVID-19 briefing, Dr Paison Dakulala said according to the process of the infection, the 40-year-old East New Britain woman was already improving when testing was conducted.
“That is an assurance and the person is well,” said Dr Dakulala. “And when we get the other test again, we will declare her as normal or no longer having the infection and that’s it, she’s part of anyone else, like you and me.”
Dr Dakulala said although we do not understand, or are yet to discover the specifics of this new virus, what we do know is that there is a timeframe to it. He likened COVID-19 to the common flu, where around 80 percent of those infected recover.
“And when you go through the flu like everyone else, you become normal and then the flu goes away and you are cured.”
Dr Anup Gurung from the World Health Organisation further explained the process undertaken.
“But there’s also a thing about testing as we see in the case of East New Britain. There was the phase of the disease where the patient was already recovering,” he stated.
“It’s just a bad cold for a long time."
The woman was exhibiting symptoms on March 19th. She was tested on March 23rd, where the Prime Minister confirmed PNG’s first local case on April 6th.
Another set of nasal and throat samples were sent for testing on the second week of April (April 7), which have now come back negative.
Under the World Health Organisation protocol, another test has to be done after 24 hours to confirm that the patient has fully recovered from COVID-19.
Hence the third sample was obtained today for testing.