Five COVID-19 cases confirmed today

Prime Minister James Marape announced five new COVID-19 cases in PNG this afternoon.

Marape said these test results were from the PNG Institute of Medical Research in Goroka, where he personally verified the information with the institute’s director, Professor William Pomat.

“Three are from Western Province, they are established as traditional border crossers,” the PM said in a media briefing at Manasupe Haus.

Ol sa muv go kam lo said blo yumi lo Papua Niu Gini go long West Papua.”

Those border crosses infected include a 12-year-old boy, a 30-year-old man and an adult female whose age is yet to be established.

The PM said the fourth case is another individual from East New Britain, who is a colleague of the province’s first confirmed case.

Em wanpla man eij 37,” the PM said.

 The fifth case is a woman who works with NAQIA. The PM said she was based at the airport to conduct checks on passengers and their cargoes. She was the case reported this afternoon by the SOE Controller.

Disla meri, eij 42 from NCD, em also ten positiv.”

All these individuals have already been isolated, with Marape giving the assurance that the Government is working to ensure the disease is contained.

“It only spreads when people are moving around,” he added.

“Heed the call. Stay at home if you have no reason to move around.”

A team has been dispatched to Western Province to check on the three cases and ensure their safety.

“More than a thousand tests will be run in Western Province again,” Marape said. “To check the length and breadth, especially the border corridor of Western as well as on the other side in West Sepik. We will still carry on more tests.

“Over a thousand tests will be conducted again in Kokopo, Rabaul, East New Britain – the Gazelle Peninsula.”

Marape issued a reminder to PNG that the coronavirus disease is not a joke.

“This is no time to play up. We are living in unprecedented times, not only in Papua New Guinea but globally speaking, where every country has taken steps that is suitable for their circumstances that are prevalent in those respective countries.”

Carmella Gware