PAPUA New Guinea’s Covid-19 cases has surpassed 10,000 prompting National Pandemic Response Controller and Police Comm David Manning to appeal to Papua New Guineans to treat the virus threat to life seriously and to strictly adhere to public health protocol measures in the New Normal or Niupela Pasin.
“Our battle with the surging Covid-19 outbreak is at a critical stage and I urge everyone to take the threat of the deadly virus seriously,” he added.
The death toll is at 91.
According to a media release, by the National Control Centre, a total of 7,364 people from the 9,952 positive cases had recovered from the Covid-19.
A total of 2,497 cases are active within the last 14 days.
To date, a total of 73,276 tests had been completed for the Covid-19 with 747 tests pending laboratory results.
The Papua New Guinea Government is finalising a new stimulus package that proposes a further K255 million health funding, with the remaining K345mil focused on local level initiatives to support economic growth, Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey says.
Ling-Stuckey in his ministerial statement on the economy, said the Government had put in place a responsible 2021 budget strategy that started to respond to the Covid-19 crisis.
“We are on track with a projected increase in our economy of 10 per cent in 2021,” he said.
“We know that this global pandemic will require ongoing actions.
“That is why we have put in place responsible forward estimates a further K600mil in Covid-19 response in 2022.
CHIEF Justice Sir Gibbs Salika has called for the proper screening of the qualifications of foreign doctors before being given certificates to practice in the country.
During the ceremonial sitting to honour the late Justice Nicholas Kirriwom at the Waigani Court House yesterday, Justice Sir Gibbs urged the Government to ensure that the criteria was included in the PNG Medical Registration Act to protect the lives and welfare of the people and the practice of medicine in the country.
Justice Kirriwon passed away at a hospital in Port Moresby last week.
“Justice Kirriwom died alone in the hands of foreign medical workers,” Justice Sir Gibbs said.
Papua New Guinea PRIME Minister James Marape says the country’s health system does not have the capacity to deal with the Covid-19.
“There are only 200 intensive care unit beds around the country which is pathetic,” he said.
The Government had allocated K2 million each to districts for their Covid-19 response.
He said some people continued to ignore the seriousness of the Covid-19 transmission and relayed inaccurate information on the pandemic.
“The Covid-19 is a cross cutting issue.
THE country has the cold chain capacity to roll out the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, with 20 per cent of the population expected to be vaccinated by the end of the year, an official says.
Unicef cold chain officer Humphrey Lubwama said when choosing a vaccine, it was important to also consider the in-house capacity.
Lubwama explained that Pfizer vaccine was supposed to be stored in a certain temperature (minus 40 to minus 60 degrees Celsius).
The country does not have the facility for that.
NORTHERN administrator Trevor Magei says three Popondetta General Hospital employees have tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19) on Friday.
“This has doubled the total cases of hospital staff from three to six to date,” he added.
Magei said the province registered four new Covid-19 cases on Friday raising its total infection to seven.
“The other positive case was a Higaturu Oil Palm employee,” he said.
“The Covid-19 response team has moved in to isolate the three health authority employees while the Higaturu management had executed their measures.
“All provincial administration staff are to be tested to help the authorities determine the status of infections.
“I urge all national agencies to allow their employees to be tested.”
PNG HEALTH Minister Jelta Wong welcomed the second batch of health and personal protective equipment (PPE) through humanitarian aid from France to mitigate the Covid-19 surge in the country.
According to a statement from the French Embassy, a shipment of 10,000 FFP2/N95 facial marks, 5,000 pairs of gloves, five oxygen generators, oxygen extractors, flow metres, Boussignac CPAC (devices generating continuous positive airway pressure), emergency transport ventilators and consumables, 300 oxygen bezels (special glass), concentration oxygen masks, and 30,000 Panbio Covid-19 Ag rapid test devices were donated.“
PAPUA New Guinea’s Covid-19 National Pandemic Response Controller David Manning has welcomed the challenge by Madang Governor Peter Yama to file a Supreme Court reference to stop vaccinations in his province and the country.
Manning, who is also the Police Commissioner, said Yama was a mandated leader and had the right to seek legal advice on the Government’s voluntary vaccination programme.
“The use of AstraZeneca as a legally authorised vaccine against the Covid-19 and is internationally endorsed by the World Health Organisation,” he said. “The PNG Government is among many other governments who are demonstrating responsibility and responsiveness to the pandemic in protecting its health workers and frontline workers from this horrible situation.”
PAPUA New Guinea vaccine cold chain and the coronavirus (Covid-19) logistics capacity response efforts have been boosted with more than K10.5 million from Japan recently.
The Japanese grant assistance of US$3 million (K10,657,212) was contributed to the United Nation International Children’s Fund (Unicef) in PNG to help strengthen the vaccine cold chain equipment and the logistics capacity.
According to a joint statement by the Japanese Embassy in PNG and Unicef, about 298 health facilities in the country would benefit from the fund that will help support vital monitoring aspects of the cold chain equipment required to safely store the Covid-19 vaccines.
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