COVID-19 pandemic

Australia likely to reopen to international students and skilled workers next week

Scott Morrison has signalled Australia is likely to open up to international students and skilled workers next week, while health authorities continue to weigh up whether to adjust the timing of booster shots.

The federal government revealed it would extend emergency powers for a further two months to February 2022, keeping in force mandatory mask wearing for international flights and restrictions on international travel from countries deemed high-risk.

Mass Burial For Unclaimed Bodies

The mass burial came after a number of COVID-19 deaths reported in the country. National Pandemic Response Controller, David Manning, had authorised for the mass burial with the assistance from National Capital District Commission.

Two months earlier, the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) Management raised concern of the mortuary capacity and that it was overflowing. 

According to Director for Curative Health, Dr Kone Sobi, there are currently in excess of 300 bodies. 

ICRC Backs Agencies Improve Detention Facilities

People in detention are highly vulnerable to outbreaks of diseases such as COVID-19, because of overcrowding and poor hygiene and sanitation. Recognising this risk, the Australian Government has partnered with ICRC to improve the conditions and treatment of people in detention in prisons and police lockups across PNG during this pandemic.

The K10 million partnership includes support to the Correctional Services to establish a Technical Working Group and draft a COVID-19 Response Plan.

Bulldogs part ways with John Asiata following Covid-19 vaccine refusal

The NRL has not mandated the vaccine but have allowed clubs to and it’s understood Canterbury have become the first side to lose a player over the issue.

Asiata, 28, had only just joined the Bulldogs on a one-year deal after playing in 2021 with the Broncos.

The 28-year-old told the Bulldogs last month he’d rather work on a construction site than be inoculated.

Club bosses warned Asiata last week he’d be sacked if his stance didn’t change.

WaSH Must Be A Priority, NRI

Integral to this is frequent handwashing and good hygiene practice but it requires sufficient access to clean water supply and proper sanitation facilities.

Therefore, investment in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) should be prioritized to ensure healthy livelihood and sustainable progress amid the challenges inflicted by the pandemic at this time.

“Please Don’t Take COVID-19 To Your Village!”

Dr Daoni said COVID-19 is now affecting all provinces, but it is still mostly seen in urban areas and those villages and communities accessible to these places.

He said everyone has the responsibility to ensure it is not spread to the rural areas where the majority of the health facilities are not equipped to care for people sick with COVID-19.

“We now have evidence that vaccination does reduce one’s chance of contracting the virus, and if by a small chance that you do get it, the symptoms are more like the common cold and are not deadly.

17K Vaccinated In Western

Dr Wuatai said COVID-19 measures and protocols are also being maintained.

Still in a lockdown state, Western Province health facilities have scaled down operations to allow staff to manage man power and resources in case of an outbreak in the hospital setting.

In Daru, the last COVID-19 admission was on September 27, 2021. Prior to that, there were five admissions; all were asymptomatic.

There’s been six COVID-19-related deaths reported at Daru Hospital.  Dr Wuatai said the number of reported COVID-19 cases has dropped though.

‘Unvaccinated Pandemic’

He told the media on Monday that there is community transmission throughout the country, with all Highlands provinces in the red zone, including NCD, Central, Madang, Morobe and East Sepik.

Two border provinces, West Sepik and Western, have seen a reduction in the number of cases.

Dr. Daoni said all the provinces in the New Guinea Islands Region are experiencing an increase in the number of cases including Oro in the Southern Region.

“We have a big community transmission in the country and this is driven by the delta variant.

Health Expert Projects 4th Wave In March 2022

Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) Acting Director for Medical Services Dr. Kone Sobi said his projection is based on the first, second and third wave as well as models from across the globe.

“The first surge in July 2020 lasted for about eight weeks.  The second surge was in February 2021 then the third surge in September.

“So the surges are occurring six months apart,” added Dr. Sobi.

Christians Urged To Be Obedient

The Council comprises of the Catholic, Lutheran, United Church, Baptist and the Salvation Army. Each is standing by to support health experts during awareness drives.

General Secretary of the PNG Council of Churches, Reverend Roger Joseph and United Church Moderator Reverend Bernard Siai made these remarks when announcing their support for the vaccination roll out in the Nation’s Capital.

Reverend Joseph urged Christians to obey our leaders and to take the vaccine as a sign of love for a neighbor.