242 new COVID-19 cases reported– PNG total up to 3,359

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A total of 242 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Saturday bringing the Papua New Guinea total confirmed cases to 3,359.

The death toll remained at 36.

The new cases came from eight provinces with the National Capital District recording the highest number of cases with 112. The others are Western – 88; Morobe – 7; Western Highlands – 2; East New Britain – 16; Madang – 9, New Ireland Province – 3; and Southern Highlands -5.

Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response and Police Commissioner David Manning said many cases are asymptomatic which means that they do not show any symptoms of COVID-19 at the time of going for test.

Manning said, “Those who are in this category may think that they are not contagious which is wrong. Both the symptomatic and asymptomatic patients are contagious and must be isolated from others to ensure this virus does not continue to spread.

“In PNG, it is difficult to isolate at home because we live with many people in one home or building, sharing amenities and therefore isolation at home is not encouraged.’ Every province should by now have an isolation facility where people testing positive are to be kept until they are cleared by being tested again to ensure they are negative. This is for the good of everyone. We cannot have people who have tested positive to be living among others as they are likely to pass the virus to them.”

He said the high number of cases in the National Capital District is putting a lot of strain on the health system.

Many health workers have tested positive and have to be isolated.

At the Port Moresby General Hospital, there is under construction a new COVID-19 centre which will focus on this pandemic, while the hospital will cater for other diseases and health problems. This is being supported by the Australian Government, St John Ambulance, World Health Organisation, UNICEF and other partners in the delivery of health services.

Meanwhile, Manning has made amendments to measure 9 on business and social, closing venues or parts of venues that provide night club or pub and gambling activities.

Venues that sell alcohol or supply takeaway alcohol or alcohol for consumption without food are to also close beginning Wednesday March 24 and are to remain close for the duration of the pandemic…..

SOURCE: PNG GOVT/PACNEWS