The PNG Institute of Medical Research (IMR) in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province will be conducting tests to determine the presence of Coronavirus in suspected cases brought into the country.
In an interview with NBC Television A Current Affairs program, National Department of Health Executive Manager Public Health Division, Dr. Esorom Daoni clarified this, saying the PNGIMR is a designated World Health Organization that has been conducting Pancorona virus testing for many years now.
Dr. Esorom explained that the new virus currently responsible for the hundreds of deaths across the globe is a new form of the group of Coronaviruses which the lab has been testing for.
He said, China has released the DNA material to the WHO, and PNG is expected to receive this code by Wednesday or Thursday this week which will make it easier for the PNGIMR to test for the virus locally.
“You have inbound passengers coming, you have health declaration forms that they will all be filling in.
"Our health staff are actually stationed at the airport, so they’re going to go through those forms and screen them.
"So if you’ve indicated that you’ve been to China and you have the flu or a cold, they’ll put you aside and ask you more questions.
“And if you are in the group of suspected cases, so we’ll get you to a place at the airport that we’ve actually identified and our staff will collect the specimen – the throat swab and send it off IMR to be tested,” Dr. Esorom explained.
Meantime, Dr. Daoni said persons entering the country and suspected of having the Coronavirus will be immediately taken into the Port Moresby General Hospital Palliative unit to be quarantined.
This is after mucous and saliva samples have been taken from them to be sent for testing at the PNG Institute of Medical Research, for the virus.
Dr. Daoni Esorom says, the unit currently has five beds and they are looking to increase that.
Dr. Esorom further added that an agreement is in place with St. John Ambulance and two ambulances are on standby specifically for the Coronavirus in the event of a suspected case.
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