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Milne Bay's 1st COVID-19 Case Return Negative

Milne Bay’s first reported positive or index case of an 18 year old female on Monday 17th August, 2020 has now fourteen (14) days later, tested NEGATIVE by GeneXpert as of yesterday afternoon. The 18 year old female, who is a Cameron Secondary School student has recovered and is doing well, according to the Provincial Health Authority team.

This now brings the provinces COVID19 cases back down to zero.

Three (3) family members of the index case (excluding elder sibling in grade 12) and 27 from Cameron Secondary School have been tested with a total of 30 tested for contact tracing. Three (3) students have tested NEGATIVE by GeneXpert and the rest awaiting return of test results sent to Goroka PNGIMR.

So far 160 samples have been collected to date. No tests were done today, however, 8 specimens/samples collected yesterday have been sent on Air Niugni Cargo today. A total of 62 test are awaiting results, including 54 samples sent on 16/08/20, 20/08/20, and 23/08/20. CPHL advised that the tests were sent to Goroka PNGIMR in the same batch and therefore, results are expected by Thursday or Friday. Based on the results, a decision will be made on re-opening of schools and where required provincial measures re-adjusted.

Provincial Controller, Mr Ashan Numa in this afternoon’s NBC Kula FM radio COVID19 update, was pleased to see the public and all key stakeholders making every effort to comply with the provincial measures. He acknowledged though, that there are a few that still do not comply but these will be addressed in the coming weeks. Mr Numa urged everyone to take personal and individual responsibility to observe the COVID19 health protocols, and the rest will follow.

Mr Numa also noted that there were also negative reactions to the first case and the immediate family members, especially stigma. This was also echoed by the CEO for Milne Bay Provincial Health Authority, Dr Perista Mamadi, in his update at the NBC Kula FM radio COVID19 update today. He urged everyone in Milne Bay to treat each other the Milne Bay way, as we have done for many years. He added that it is during times like these we must display our true Milne Bay ways.

“If everyone first takes personal responsibility and ensure they observe COVID19 health protocols of wearing of facemasks or face covering and carrying on them a hand sanitizer, wash hands regularly with soap and water and practice social distancing, you will be doing yourself a favour and others in stopping the spread of the virus. This will also ensure that there will not be a reason to have a lockdown or other measures that will restrict our livelihood”. Mr Numa said.

“It is important that as people of Milne Bay we must address our issues and this pandemic with local solutions and the Milne Bay way. With our first positive case, the lessons learned will also help us respond better to future cases both from a health and technical perspective and also as a community. I acknowledge the efforts of everyone who has been involved one way or another to addressing the first case, and I am confident we will be better prepared, God forbid, if we have other cases". Dr Mamadi said.

The Provincial Measures are currently in force and the public are advised to comply. Mandatory Mask wearing remains in force. A curfew from 11pm to 5am daily, also remains in force. These measures remain in force until such time when these may be reviewed if the situation improves.

Meanwhile, please note that there are nine (9) provinces, including Milne Bay (1) with confirmed cases, which are Central (6), Morobe (5), East New Britain (2), Eastern Highlands (1), West Sepik (1), Southern Highlands (1), Autonomous Region of Bougainville (1) and New Ireland (1). Papua New Guinea has reported 18 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) today, Tuesday 25 August 2020.

This now brings the country’s total confirm positive cases to 419.

The death toll for the country remains at 4, and all are from the National Capital District.

The reported 18 cases reported are all from the Western Province bringing its total confirmed cases to 143, the majority being 140, are from the Ok Tedi Mine.

Next : SP Brewery Assists COVID-19 Front Liners

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