The Controller of the National Pandemic Response, David Manning, said of those 39 new cases, two tested positive in Western Province, one in West Sepik Province and 37 in the National Capital District.
The Sandaun case is the first recorded in the province while Western Province has recorded its sixth and seventh case.
The West Sepik Provincial Health Authority yesterday confirmed that an adult male who had returned last fortnight from a training in Port Moresby was sick and tested positive in Vanimo on GeneXpert on Tuesday night.
Similarly, two of the contacts of the positive case in Western Province who were tested on GeneXpert in Tabubil on Tuesday night and have returned positive. Contact tracing for these cases indicate that infection could have been transmitted through close contact with an individual who had returned from Port Moresby last weekend.
The individual has been isolated in Kiunga and is awaiting testing.
Twenty-nine contacts of the three patients have been identified and have all tested negative yesterday (Aug 5).
“While we are seeing increases in the number of cases, we are pleased that the GeneXpert testing systems in the provinces have been effective in producing real time results, which has enabled us to immediately isolate patients and trace contacts,” said Controller Manning.
“The confirmation of the Western and West Sepik cases are results of GeneXpert Testing.
“Unlike the polymerase chain reaction tests, which involves a longer testing process, GeneXpert has a quick turnaround time.
“This is another way of containing the spread of COVID-19 in PNG as the GeneXpert Testing kits help us to respond quickly and isolate patients when tested positive.”
To date, there have been a total of 153 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2 deaths, 44 have been discharged and 101 active cases. No severe cases have been reported in the past 24 hours.
“Papua New Guinea in the past 20 days has confirmed 141 out of 2,333 tests,” said Controller Manning.
(Children getting their hands sanitised before entering the Port Moresby Nature Park)