Upsurge In Positive Cases

The Port Moresby General Hospital has cautioned an increase in positive COVID-19 cases, this month.

Predictions were made last year, regarding a fourth surge to occur in March, however, traces were made of the fourth wave arising in Port Moresby.

PMGH has been tracking COVID positive rates from last year, through to this month, noting that there has been an increase since the third wave in September 2021.

In the past week alone, 250 tests were performed on patients, with results of about 150 positive cases from the testing activity.

PMGH Director of Medical Services, Dr. Kone Sobida, clarified that most cases were with patients having underlying medical conditions and were advised to isolate.

“On January 21st we noticed a sharp rise in the testing rates from 5-10 percent to 28 percent. As of yesterday or the last 24 hours our testing positive rates are about 80 percent, so meaning eight out of ten people tested, those seeking medical attention at POM GEN were turning out positive,” said Dr Sobida

Acting Chair for COVID Committee and Emergency Physician, Mangu Kendino, said despite the relief of having mostly moderate cases, they are not able to predict the outcome of this surge.

“What we’re seeing so far in these last 8 days from this current surge is that we’ve got all mild cases, we’ve not has a single admission of someone who came in with severe COVID,” she said.

Dr Sobida said at this point time, the hospital has 23 in patients, with most being on single-source of oxygen and none on ventilators.

“We have found from our preliminary data that about 65-70 percent of those who were positive, are unvaccinated, but we do have patients or people who have been double vaccinated or even single vaccinated, who have tested positive,” he said.

Port Moresby General Hospital has responsive plans in place, to survey these transmission rates and have it closely monitored to ensure that other medical services are not downscaled to cater for COVID alone.  

With the recent Coronavirus declared (Omicron), he urged the public to take these COVID-19 precautions seriously, as the variant has a more rapid transmission rate.

Dr. Sobi said the hospital is relying on the Government and other close partnerships to support these response plans throughout the surge.

Marie Vere, UPNG Journalism Student