Covid 19

Experts warn Papua New Guinea is potential breeding ground for new COVID variants

Experts have warned that the next variant of Covid-19 to sweep the world could emerge on Australia’s doorstep, due to incredibly low rates of vaccination rates in Papua New Guinea.

COVID-19 Surge in Central Province

Chief Executive Officer, Matt Cannon said they are alarmed and concerned by an increase in patients needing ambulance transport for COVID-19, adding this suggests that Central may be on the cusp of a wave of COVID-19.

On Thursday 4th November, their ambulances attended to seven cases, four of whom tested positive to COVID-19.

Medical Expert Calls For Vaccination Rollout

Dr Kotapu made the call today when talking to the National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority (NAQIA) staff on the importance of vaccination.

He clarified that about half of the population globally have already vaccinated and there is no excuse for Papua New Guineans not to be vaccinated.

“We cannot continue to believe conspiracy theories about the vaccines as people are dying every day of the coronavirus.

“People in developed countries are taking vaccines and we cannot just sit down and expect the Government to warn us every day on the coronavirus.”

Villagers encouraged to get vaccinated

Professor Isi Kevau, Executive Dean for the school of Medical & Health Sciences, PMGH Cardiologist and Director of Sir Buri Kidu Heart Foundation, told his people that the aim of getting vaccinated is to decrease the number of deaths and to avoid affecting those with premorbid conditions.

EMT’s Arrive

This comes as seven EMT’s arrived in Port Moresby yesterday to support the St John Ambulance COVID health care.

The team consists of a doctor, four paramedics and two nurses from Johanniter in Germany.

They will be tasked to care for COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms over the next four weeks.

The trip was organized by the European Union.

St John Ambulance is making sure they are looked after while in PNG.

Inmates and CS officers volunteer for COVID testing

Officials revealed that the suspected case, who is an inmate, was taken in for testing and isolation last week Friday.

This prompted the Bomana Correctional Services to conduct voluntarily COVID testing today for inmates and CS personnel at the Minimum Security Unit.

PNG CS Commissioner Stephen Pokanis, was first in line to get tested.

Commissioner Pokanis said the COVID-19 operations lead by Deputy Operations, have taken precautionary measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in prisons.

Madang prepares to contain COVID 19

Governor Peter Yama made the bold move to declare a 14-day lock-down in the province prior to the Government’s State of Emergency announcement.

Head of Madang Province COVID -19 Response Command Center, Dr Juith Gawi is greatful to the Madang Governor taking that step to put Madang on lock-down immediately after the announcement of the first coronavirus case in PNG.

A checkpoint has been set up along the North Coast highway in Bogia, to screen emergency patients coming from the district.

Gov’t to reprioritize expenditures

Focus will be on health, the economy and education for the balance of 2020.

He said to make sure there is no local transmissions in the country, the Government had instituted a State of Emergency (SoE) for 14 days, the incubation period of COVID-19, to monitor any reports of possible COVID-19 infections.

“The Government will reprioritize expenditures and cutaway activities that can be deferred or terminated and focus on health, economy and education for the balance of 2020.”

Walindi resort shuts down operations

Owner of Walindi Resort, Cheyne Benjamin said the resort is a tourist destination; the lockdown will greatly affect its operations.

“This isn’t only a health crisis but also a global economic crisis with tourism and airlines the most affected and that includes Walindi and other operators around the country including Air Niugini.

“Our business has never in its history faced anything like this - we have faced all sorts of challenges here - volcanoes etc but nothing like this.

Digicel launches COVID 19 toll free number

The Toll Free number is 1-800-200.

The Toll Free number was launched by Digicel CEO Collin Stone and acting Secretary for Health Dr Paison Dakulala in Port Moresby today.

Dr Dakulala thanked Digicel for the initiative in coming on board to disseminate information on the COVID 19 through its various media platforms.