PNG reports 288 new cases, testing and vaccination rates still low


Papua New Guinea reported 288 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours raising its cumulative total confirmed cases to 25,356.

These new cases were reported from 10 provinces of which Western Highlands Province(WHP)reported the highest of 122; followed by NCD (73); Morobe (45); Central (15); West New Britain (14); Eastern Highlands (11); Western (2); Madang (2); Hela (2); and Jiwaka (2).

There were also three new deaths reported raising the cumulative known deaths to 312.Of the deaths, two came from WHP and one was reported in Morobe.

The new cases and deaths are reported by the National Control Centre only after it has received the Case Investigation Forms and Death Certificates which often come late from the Provincial Health Authorities.

In this case, the three deaths had occurred 7 – 14 days ago. Although these cases were reported internally, the information could not be released until the CIFs and death certificates had been received as proof.
Any deaths that have occurred outside of health facilities and have been reported by word of mouth are not being included in the national database.

While there are surges occurring in many parts of the country, most provinces are far from reaching the testing and vaccination targets set for this year with an exception of NCD which hasnow vaccinated 63,103 people which is 48 per cent of its target population of 92,312 for this year.

The rest of the provinces have covered between one percent to 12 percent ‘fully vaccinated’.

The fully vaccination coverage rates in the highlands region are as follows: Southern Highlands (1%); Eastern Highlands (2 percent); Chimbu (2 percent); Western Highlands (4 percent); Hela (3 percent); Enga (5 percent); and Jiwaka (6 percent).

The coverage rates for Momase region are as follows: Morobe (5 percent); West Sepik (3 percent); Madang (4 percent); and East Sepik (6 percent).

In the Southern region, the coverage rate are as follows: NCD (48 percent); Western (12 percent); Gulf (3 percent); Milne Bay (3 percent); Central (3 percent); and Northern (2 percent).

The coverage rate for New Guinea Islands are as follows: East New Britain (30 percent); West New Britain (15 percent); New Ireland (9 percent); Manus (16 percent); and Autonomous Region of Bougainville (5 percent).

The cumulative total of people that have been fully vaccinated as of Sunday, 17th October, 2021, is 109,549. The number of people that have received only one dose stands at 109,549.

The figures for vaccination coverage (at least one dose received) is 10 percent and those who are fully vaccinated is five percent as of 17 October, 2021.

Meanwhile, Deputy Controller of the National Pandemic Response Dr Daoni Esorom has urged all frontliners, including the health workers to consider vaccination to protect themselves and their families against COVID-19.

Dr Daoni said the statistics are clear, “Health workers are getting infected every day. In today’s update, we have 13 of them getting infected. This is very high.

“Our country is fortunate that our government has seen the need and stepped in by ensuring that we had vaccines to protect our health workers long before the delta variant arrived. We still want them to be the priority, although the vaccines are now being given to other members of the public,” he said.