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A female soldier has tested positive for Covid-19 – the 10th case recorded in Papua New Guinea so far, officials have confirmed.
Defence Force commander Maj-Gen Gilbert Toropo last night told The National there would be a 14-day lockdown at the Murray Barracks in Port Moresby where the soldier was based.
“The barracks will be locked down for two weeks,” he said.
“Everyone is instructed to work from home. Only essential staff will continue to carry out their tasks.
“Families are also asked to stay at home and will only be allowed to go out for (essential things) like going to the hospital or buying food.
“No movements in and out of the barracks except for essential services staff and the health department and national operation centre teams.”
He appealed to the soldiers and their families for calm, patience and understanding.
The ninth case, an Australia Defence Force soldier also based at the barracks, returned home to Australia Wednesday.
National Pandemic Controller David Manning said the 27-year-old female soldier was based in Port Moresby.
“This is PNG’s 10th case of the Covid-19. She works at the Murray Barracks but lives off-site in a shared accommodation,” he said.
“She was tested as part of the ongoing mass testing of the staff at the barracks following the announcement of the ninth case on 20 June.
“Her positive test result was received today (Wednesday) from the Queensland health laboratory in Brisbane, Australia,” he said.
Manning said the rapid response team was conducting case investigation and contact tracing with officers from the Department of Health, Defense Force, Australian Defense Force and the World Health Organisation.
Manning said the case proved that there was “local transmission in Port Moresby and the risk is very high”.
“More cases may be identified in the coming days,” he said.
“Papua New Guineans need remain vigilant to stop the transmission.”
“The country needs to work together to apply the new normal. This will involve changing our ways of doing things and replacing them with behaviours and actions to reduce the risk of infection.
“Controlling this outbreak is our shared responsibility. I urge people to stop converging and mass gathering. The best support we need from the public is to protect yourselves and your families.”
He urged anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms, fevers, coughs, sore throats, body aches or having difficulty breathing to stay at home and immediately call the toll free line 1800 200.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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