Hasten readiness of testing facilities, directs Governor

NCD Governor Powes Parkop wants the Rita Flynn Isolation Centre, and all other six nominated health facilities for rapid testing of COVID-19, to be readily available before the 14-day State of Emergency lapses on April 5th.

After visiting Rita Flynn facility and Gerehu General Hospital yesterday, Governor Parkop said he was not satisfied with the preparedness of the establishments.

“As Chairman of our Provincial Task Force Response Team and Governor of our city, I am giving a direction now that we put all effort to have the facility at Rita Flynn to be able to accept a small number of potential patients by tonight. We cannot delay any further,” he stated.

“Consistent with this directive, I have asked St John Ambulance, as the technical experts in prehospital care, to facilitate logistics for the field hospital work and support NCD Provincial Health Authority and Port Moresby General Hospital as the medical experts to have this capacity by tonight.”

Governor Parkop further commended the tireless efforts of members of the taskforce and other key stakeholders.

“I want to take this time to thank Dr Gary Nou and our technical Team at NCD PHA working in conjunction with their NDoH colleagues for their tremendous efforts for the preparation for our clinical responses to COVID-19.

“Equally, I want to thank the board, led by Mr. David Toua and other medical team like Dr Paki Molumi of Port Moresby General Hospital and Matt Cannon and his team at Sir John Ambulance. Not to forget UN Team lead by Gianluca Rampolla and the team from MSF for preparing the clinics but more particularly, Rita Flynn Courts for testing and isolation.”

The Governor was accompanied by Health and HIV Minister Jelta Wong, acting City Manager Ravu Frank, St John Ambulance’s Matt Cannon, acting CEO for NCD PHA, Dr Jerry Tanumei, United Nations Resident Coordinator Gianluca Rampolla and his colleagues from other UN bodies, and other dignitaries.

Governor Parkop will extend his visitation to Six-Mile clinic, Kaugere Health Centre, Lawes Road Clinic, Tokarara Urban clinic and Nine-Mile Clinic soon.

Governor Parkop said all the equipment are ready to be installed, including personal protective equipment.

He further called on the National Department of Health to procure the drugs and consumables quickly i.e. injections, swab test kits and rapid test kits, so that his people are given the confidence that they are pandemic ready.   

He thanked the World Health Organisation and other UN bodies for assisting the city and the country, saying that this is the first time that PNG is faced with such a global challenge so their global expertise is much appreciated.

“Together we can contain COVID-19 and be ready if there is a breakout in the city,” he said.

(NCD PHA’s Dr Gary Nou, right, briefing NCD Governor Powes Parkop, acting City Manager Ravu Frank, diplomats and others about the preparedness of the COVID-19 isolation centre during a tour yesterday at the Rita Flynn Complex)

Press release