12 cases of delta variant confirmed in PNG

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Papua New Guinea deputy Controller for National Pandemic response Dr Daoni Esorom says the country has 12 confirmed cases of delta variant.

He said the latest COVID-19 cases are three males from Western Province.

The National Control Centre will be sending a team to Western Province as they did with Madang last week to help with contact tracing and give technical advice and guidance on how to respond on the ground.

Testing in PNG has been reduced since March and it is difficult to know how widespread is the transmission of delta variant.

Dr Daoni said an instruction has been given for all health facilities to test cases of Influenza-like illnesses (ILI), Severe Acute Respiratory Illnesses (SARI) and Suspected cases of COVID-19, but not all health facilities are adhering to this instruction.

He said, “If you have a low level of testing, and have a high uptake of detection of positive cases (at the moment it’s 12%) and you have a large pool of unvaccinated people, that is recipe for major spread of the Delta Variant”

Also, he said there is anecdotal evidence from Madang’s Modilon Hospital of increasing number of deaths of unknown causes and also at the Port Moresby General hospital.

There is a circular sent to Port Moresby General Hospital to swab all corpses with unknown causes of death and those with respiratory illnesses.

SOURCE: PNG GOVT/PACNEWS