Emergency Controller David Manning says more than 100 people whose samples have been tested have shown that they had contracted COVID-19 and recovered.
In a statement today, Mr Manning says this is out of a total 8,639 Rapid Diagnostic Tests collected throughout the country in a study that will give the government an idea of the transmission of COVID-19 in the country.
He says the tests show that 190 people developed anti-bodies, meaning that at some time in the past they contracted COVID-19 and recovered.
Mr Manning says the targeting sample size of 12,000 for antibody research is expected to be completed in the next fortnight.
This week the team will focus on Daru and the Fly River in the Western Province.
Mr Manning says whilst statistics indicate a very low community transmission rate, the threat of COVID-19 is very much real and that strict international travel and border surveillance, particularly along the Indonesia border of Boven Digoel and North Fly, needs to be upheld in order to keep community transmissions low.
He says the border is a concern seeing as almost 100% of new COVID-19 cases in Indonesia have come from Jayapura, hence promoting the need for tighter controls along the northern border province of West Sepik Province.
Mr Manning adds, 24 tonnes of COVID-19 supplies, out of which 12 tons is from UNICEF, have been sent to all the provinces.
Meanwhile, the Correctional Service will be brought into the COVID-19 Operations to assist in the monitoring of quarantined persons and ensure they remain in the designated quarantine facilities for the entire 14 day quarantine period.
Mr Manning made this decision when 66 people who are supposed to be in quarantine could not be located.
Mr Manning says these people are breaching the health and COVID-19 quarantine protocols and directions contained in emergency orders, and placing the lives of other Papua New Guineas at risk.
He says authorities are trying to locate the 66 people, after which they will be severely reprimanded.
Mr Manning today issues emergency order 14 which will result in the seizure of passports of Papua New Guineans who do not comply with quarantine protocols.
He says passports will be canceled upon conviction for non-compliance.
There are currently 313 persons in quarantine throughout PNG, including the 66 who have left their quarantine facility before the 14 day required period.
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