Papua New Guinea has tested 559 out of 1521 samples collected for Coronavirus.
“Work at the Joint Agency Task Force National Operations Centre is progressing despite the quarantine of staff following the positive case of a frontline responder working here at the NOC.”
That’s from SOE Controller Commissioner David Manning in a COVID-19 update on Tuesday evening.
• Following that incident 121 tests from the NOC as well as 4 from other centres have returned negative.
• About 550 samples collected from close contact of the first NCD case, including family members, work colleagues and staff at the NOC were collected over the weekend and are currently undergoing tests in Brisbane.
• I call upon everyone around the country to take responsibility for their own health and for those around them by simply practising the health messages that we have been constantly stressing: wash your hands, cough into your elbow, maintain physical distancing, and avoid crowds and stay at home to stop the spread.
• PNG is part of the global COVID-19 statistics so in case you think this is not serious I invite you to listen to the figures:
• In the last 24 hours there has been 72,846 new cases;
• Total confirmed cases so far globally are 2,314,621. This includes the 72,846 new cases.
• In the last 24 hours there were 5,296 new deaths.
• Totals deaths to date is 157,847. This is an increase of 5,296 new deaths over the last 24 hours.
• Closure to home in the Western Pacific region the following new cases were reported within the last 24 hours:
- Australia with 6,612 confirmed new cases and 70 deaths;
- Philippines with 6,259 confirmed new cases and 409 deaths;
- Singapore with 6,588 confirmed new cases and 11 deaths;
- New Zealand with 1,105 confirmed new cases and 12 deaths; and
- Our closest neighbour Indonesia with 6,575 confirmed new cases and 327 deaths.
The SOE Controller added that in PNG, we have collected 1,521 samples and tested 559 persons;
• Out of this 552 persons have tested negative;
• Total number of tests pending laboratory results is 962
• Total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to date is 7 and this includes the repatriated case we have recorded in the country.
• In order to ensure that we contain the spread of COVID-19 the government is taking all measures to have in place the testing equipment and facilities as well as making available PPEs to frontline responders.
“At this point in time PNG has the capacity to do 900 tests per day between the PNG Institute of Medical Research, Central Public Health Laboratory and the Medical School.”
He said whilst waiting for the supply of reagents the Govt has outsourced our testing to reputable Australian laboratories, specifically in Brisbane and a referral laboratory in Melbourne, Victoria.
• For our response efforts we are currently focusing on the border provinces, and also prioritising for the contact tracing for the positive COVID-19 cases of East New Britain, NCD and Western Provinces.
• For the Western Province, a team was deployed to assist with contact tracing and other preventative measures. All have been advised to isolate in villages.
• 152 samples collected so far in Western Province from close contact of the three positives cases. This includes samples for the second testing for three first cases. These were sent to Brisbane this morning.
• In the East New Britain province 152 samples were also collected which includes 63 samples from contact tracing of the second confirmed case. An additional 450 samples have been collected from five lock-down villages in the province.
• In the NCD, 691 samples were collected from colleagues and family of the first NCD case.
• Across the border to Indonesia we have PNG prisoners in Jayapura who have been released today and arrangements have been made for them to be brought back into the country after 21 days of quarantine.
Approved for release by:
David Manning, MBE, DPS, QPM
Commissioner of Police &
Controller of the State of Emergency
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