Origin of ENB transmission identified

The Government believes they have zeroed in on the point of origin of East New Britain’s COVID-19 case.

Police Minister Bryan Kramer said they have confirmed that the patient may have contracted the virus at a fundraiser.

During an update on the afternoon of Wednesday, the 8th of April, Minister Kramer said they have confirmed with both the patient and doctor that it is highly probable that she may have contracted the virus during an event on the 14th of March.

“A United Church fundraising event at Raluana where Dr (Alex) Maha as well as the patient went. They were invited to carry out awareness on COVID-19 at this church fundraising event,” Kramer said. “And some of the persons that did attend that event did come from overseas.”

Kramer said he was able to track down the church leader and organiser of that event yesterday morning, who was asked to prepare a list of the attendees.

“And then from there they will be organised to run their samples and they will be sent in for testing,” Kramer continued.

“So at this stage, that’s looking high probability that, that is where she may have contracted it because if you look at the timeline, that was on the 14th. On the 19th she started to get a sore throat and slight cough.”

Kramer reemphasised that symptoms of COVID-19 will be demonstrated between 5 to 10 days. But of course, this is this is a very new disease hence evidence keeps changing at speed.

Meantime, three rapid response teams are in ENB and have, so far, identified 28 close contacts among family members, workmates and health workers, with nine of them as persons under investigation while 24 samples have been collected from 12 persons for testing.

(Police Minister Bryan Kramer giving an update at the Morauta Haus in Port Moresby)

Carmella Gware