THE number of Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases reported in Papua New Guinea is not as high as in the last surge with many provinces in the low-risk zone at this stage but the situation might shift quickly after the festive season, a doctor says.
National Pandemic Response deputy controller Dr Daoni Esorom said the Highlands, which was hard-hit in the third surge (Delta) was recovering, so together with Mamose, Western, Central, National Capital District and Milne Bay were in the low-risk zone.
“New Ireland and Gulf are in medium risk,” he said.
“Bougainville and East New Britain are currently in the high-risk zone.
“Northern and West New Britain are not reporting so we have no idea what the situation is like.
Dr Esorom said it was highly likely that the fourth surge would be in February or March due to the movement of people and gatherings.
He said the shift from low to medium and to high risk can be very quick because people were not adhering to the control measures.
“Keeping physical distancing has been thrown out the window,” he said.
“Even now when the reported cases are not as high as the surge – the national positivity rate – is 13 per cent which is very high.
“If we are doing more testing, we will be detecting more cases but we are not.”
Dr Esorom urged health authorities doing testing and vaccination to continue their efforts.
He said the Covid-19 transmission was high in the communities and on top of the original Wuhan virus, the Delta variant had become dominant and it was anytime that the Omicron variant would be detected.
He said when the Omicron variant was detected and since the transmissibility was high, the next surge would be of the Omicron which would pose a challenge for the health sector.
Dr Esorom urged the people to take heed of the control measures and get vaccinated as soon as they can to prevent hospitalisation and death.
The National / PNG Health News
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