TWELVE provinces in Papua New Guinea are showing widespread community transmission of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), according to reports and data from authorities.
They are Morobe, East Sepik, Madang, West Sepik, Enga, Eastern Highlands, Hela, Western Highlands, Southern Highlands, National Capital District (NCD), Central and Western.
Community transmission came after the PNG Coronavirus (Covid-19) Health Situation Report picked up data and delayed reporting of testing and limited contact-tracing activities in the provinces.
Challenges on obtaining swabbing, testing, providing data and contact tracing are still observed, the report stated.
Strategies are being explored to improve and strengthen current responses, including ramping up active surveillance and enhancing testing in order to establish the extent of Delta transmission, the report said.
Increasing vaccination coverage to the high risk/ vulnerable population with priorities for frontline health workers, persons over the age of 45 and persons with underlying medical conditions, including, re-enforcing maintenance of the new normal practices even after vaccination, are also part of the national strategy.
Covid-19 cases are being reported around PNG, with cases reported in 16 of the 22 provinces over the past seven days.
NCD accounted for the highest number of cases, followed by Western, Western Highlands, Eastern Highlands, Morobe, West Sepik and Enga.
The Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Gulf, Manus, New Ireland, Northern and West New Britain didn’t report in over the past seven days.
Almost 90 per cent of these cases reported were diagnosed in the last 7-14 days, suggesting active (ongoing) community transmission in provinces reporting cases.
The epidemic curve shows notable surge (low peak) with increasing test positivity in Aug-Sept for several provinces, data shows.
There has been an almost three-fold increase in the number of Covid-19 deaths reported in the last seven days, compared to the previous week.
Source : The National