Pau New Guinea PANDEMIC Controller Police Commissioner David Manning says home quarantine will not be allowed in Papua New Guinea (PNG) anymore.
“This decision is due to capacity and logistical reasons. But we will consider home quarantine for medical reasons,” he said.
In the wake of a second spike in Covid-19 infections and the discovery of new Covid-19 variants in the world, Manning appealed to all to strictly adhere to the mandatory 14-day quarantine imposed by the National Control Centre (NCC).
Commission Manning said PNG’s quarantine measures in the Covid-19 response had to date found only two people with Covid-19 symptoms since the outbreak last year.
One of them was diagnosed in September and the other last month.
“Quarantine is one of the important measures being employed to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 in the country. So, this must be strictly observed,’’ he added.
He said currently there were countries reporting new virus variants which PNG did not have and quarantine was one way to prevent such variants from entering and spreading.
“We have people coming from countries where new variants are now being reported. So we need to protect our people against these new variants which are more transmissible than the original virus,’’ he said.
At this stage, Commissioner Manning said PNG was seeing an average of 30 to 60 people in quarantine a day and they were mostly travellers from other countries entering PNG.
“We are doing well but we need to improve because right now the quality is not there. There are other reasons why this is so, but the biggest are due to logistics and financial resources,’’ he added.
There are currently three types of quarantine – home, approved company sites and hotels.
Those in hotels and company sites pay for the cost of quarantine themselves, while those in home quarantine were largely people with proven medical reasons.
“There was initially a large group of people being placed in home quarantine but this has been stopped due to a number of reasons, including abuse.”
Meanwhile, PNG has to date reported a total of 970 positive cases of Covid-19, including nine new cases reported in the last 24 hours.
The majority have recovered and the death toll is only 10. The last death was last week when a 54-year-old man died in the Angau General Hospital in Lae.
Commimissioner Manning said: “The pandemic is far from over. We have outbreaks now in West New Britain, Madang and Sandaun, so we have to be more vigilant and adhere to the new normal or niupela pasin to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 in the country.
“The NCC has minimal staff, so they cannot attend to all the outbreaks at one time. So everyone has a duty to ensure they are following the health protocols in place for the benefit of the country.”
The National / PNG Health News
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