Papua New Guinea is at ‘a very high risk’ of the Coronavirus Disease- 2019 or COVID-19.
This after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on the 28th February, their assessment that the ‘risk of spread’ and ‘impact’ of the virus globally is at ‘very high.
World Health Organization Country Representative Dr. Luo Dapeng says as such PNG must be ready for the worst-case scenario.
He highlighted some of the measures that must be undertaken by the country in order to curb the virus.
"We must ensure that our isolation ward is ready for the confirmed cases, here in Port Moresby as well as other major cities and towns.
"We need to ensure medical oxygen, ventilators, and other vital equipment are in stock.
"Our health workers must be trained, health workers must know how to take the sample correctly from the patient and know how to safely transfer the sample to PNG Institute of Medical Research in Goroka," said Dr. Dapeng.
Meantime, a 10 Million Kina has been released last week by the National Government to the National Department of Health, for scaling up work on the prevention of the COVID-19 in the country.
Acting Health Secretary Dr. Paison Dakulala said this money will be used for the purchase of equipment such as the Infrared camera to be set up at the different points of entries.
This is from the initial funding ask of K45 million towards the COVID-19 response.
Dr. Dakulala said apart from screening measures at the points of entries, there is now the inclusion of the handheld thermometers to check passengers.
Apart from the Coronavirus Help Desk set up at Jackson's International Terminal, an isolation ward has been set up at the back of Port Moresby General Hospital to isolate suspected cases.
Papua New Guinea, despite not having any confirmed case of the COVID-19 like other countries globally, is ramping up measures to safeguard its population from the deadly virus.
Among some of these measures is the call for Papua New Guineans to be more observant of good basic hygiene practices.
Acting Health Secretary Dr. Paison Dakulala reiterated this call yesterday.