Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

NCD reports new COVID-19 case

This afternoon, the State of Emergency controller and key medical experts confirmed the case in a press conference.

Deputy SoE Controller, Dr Paison Dakulala, said the new case is a 44-year-old male expatriate, currently residing in the nation’s capital.

“Three tests were conducted using the GeneXpert and PCR (polymerase chain reaction). The third test came back positive, which was confirmed by Queensland laboratories. He is recovering at the moment.

K113m from stimulus package for agriculture, food security

“This agriculture and food security funding, the biggest element of our K600 million in direct budget funding support on COVID-19, recognises the fact that agriculture underpins the livelihoods of most Papua New Guineans,” Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey said. “Over 85 percent of the population depends on subsistence agriculture for consumption and cash cropping for income.

“COVID-19 is a tricky, hidden enemy. Good decisions by the government have helped protect PNG. But there is still great uncertainty, and the experts are telling us that we must stay alert.

US$1m to support province’s COVID-19 response

IOM, UNFPA and UNICEF will work with the Western Provincial Government, including the Western Provincial Health Authority, the North Fly District Government, the Catholic Diocese of Daru and Kiunga, and other national and local partners. The funding will assist these partners in addressing needs for water and sanitation, nutrition and maternal and neonatal health as part of their ongoing COVID-19 response.

In announcing the funding, UN Resident Coordinator, Gianluca Rampolla, acknowledged the unique challenges faced by the response team in Western Province.

Warning issued to citizens under quarantine

Manning said this following reports of citizens not taking heed of the control measures put in place.

“I must warn citizens that are coming into the country that the 14-day quarantine period and the protocols in place under the SOE are non-negotiable. Everyone must complete the 14-day quarantine period and must be cleared by a designated medical officer before leaving the quarantine facility,” Manning stressed.

12,000 rapid test kits received

Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner, Caitlin Wilson, was at the Jackson’s International Airport to formally receive the supplies and hand them over to Minister for Health and HIV, Jelta Wong, for the PNG Government distribution and use.

The shipment also included 380 more GeneXpert tests; the first batch of which arrived last week. Over 1000 cartridges have now been provided.

Schulz disappointed with handling of case

The East New Britain woman, who was declared positive on April 6th, said the Government handled her case “poorly”.

“Especially when it was a health issue,” she said.

“Our number one code of medical ethics is patient confidentiality and apparently, that code of ethics did not apply for me as a patient of COVID-19.

“I am very disheartened by the fact that my identity and results was leaked to the corporate community in East New Britain as well as the public.

UN’s backing of PNG’s COVID-19 response

This support is aided by funding that has been secured from the governments of Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, United States and the World Bank.

“The UN is also engaging with donors to re-programme funding where relevant, as for example with resources available through the Spotlight Initiative to invest into work that will ensure safety for women and girls that are affected by gender-based violence.”

Be vigilant, PNG urged

This, however, does not mean that we get complacent.

The Prime Minister has stressed, time and again, that COVID-19 is here to stay therefore everyone should be vigilant and continue practicing good hygiene.

When giving an update on Saturday, Deputy SOE Controller, Dr Paison Dakulala, reemphasised this point, saying just because SOE restrictions will be relaxed does not mean it is all clear.

4 out of 8 COVID-19 cases have recovered: Kramer

Police Minister Bryan Kramer, when giving an in-depth explanation following yesterday’s COVID-19 briefing, said the Australian expatriate (imported case), whose status was announced by Prime Minister James Marape on March 20, was tested whilst in Australia and his results returned negative.

Confirmed COVID-19 case reported in EHP

“Our most recent case is a 45-year-old female, originally from the Eastern Highlands,” David Manning said today.

“Two weeks ago she developed fever and shortness of breath and body aches. She then presented herself to the Asaro Health Centre on the 12th of April and was immediately admitted at the health centre. She was managed for one week and improved.

“On 17th of April her samples were collected and sent to PNG Institute of Medical Research in Goroka. Her test returned positive four days later.