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179 COVID-19 cases reported on Wednesday March 17 – PNG total at 2,658

Papua New Guinea reported  179 cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Wednesday, March 17, this week, the highest number of confirmed cases since the outbreak, raising the national total confirmed cases to 2,658.

It also reported five new deaths raising the number of deaths related to COVID-19 to 36.

The new cases were reported in eight provinces namely National Capital District which reported 67 cases; West Sepik – 78; Western Highlands – 12; Madang – 2; East Sepik – 9; Jiwaka – 1; Hela – 1; and Southern Highlands – 6.

NCD had been leading with the new cases every day for some time, but in the last 24 hours WSP reported a higher number than NCD. The cumulative figures for each of the 19 provinces that have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak are as follows:

• NCD – 1226;

• Western – 326;

• West Sepik – 298;

• West New Britain – 197;

• Eastern Highlands – 103;

• Morobe – 100;

• Western Highlands – 66;

• East New Britain – 52;

• Autonomous Region of Bougainville – 48;

• Madang – 48;

• Enga – 53;

• New Ireland – 32;

• Central – 26;

• East Sepik – 26;

• Jiwaka – 18;

• Hela – 17;

• Chimbu – 17;

• Milne Bay – 10; and

• Southern Highlands – 10.

The new deaths in the last 24 hours came from NCD (3) and Western Highlands (2).

On Tuesday, the five deaths were from NCD (4) and Enga (1).

This is the sixth consecutive week of increasing cases and the highest number of cases in a single week in PNG since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhun, China, early last year so it is no longer a new disease or people have heard about it including Papua New Guineans. However, there are still people in this country saying this is a hoax which is causing a lot of problems, especially in the area of compliance to the New Normal or “Niupela Pasin”.

While these people are spreading misinformation about COVID-19, the disease is spreading in the country. There are currently surges occurring in seven provinces across PNG with outbreaks in NCD, West Sepik, Morobe, Eastern Highlands, Western Highlands, Enga and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB).

There is also a large number of people testing positive even though they do not have the symptoms. These are asymptomatic patients who still have to be isolated to ensure they do not spread the virus to others.

Controller of the National Pandemic Response and Police Commissioner Mr David Manning has in his daily reminder asks that both citizens and residents in the country follow the health measures in the New Normal or “Niupela Pasin”.

Mr Manning said unlike early last year when PNG was on the lookout for COVID-19 coming into the country from outside, this time, he said it can be in the home where one family member can get it and not know it.

Mr Manning said, “So please I urge you all to be on your guard by adhering to the health measures in place. If you do not like washing your hands when you get home from work, before you eat, after you use the toilet or even after your sneeze or cough into your hand, this time it’s a must if you are going to protect your loved ones and others from the virus.

“Also, you can be nice to other people without having to hug them. Smiling, waving or nodding are some ways you and I can greet people so as to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our country.”

Globally, Mr Manning said the virus continues to spread. As of Wednesday, a total of 119,960,700 confirmed cases were reported around the world. Of this figure, 324,255 were new cases reported in the last 24 hours. The global death toll since the outbreak is 2,656,822, of which 6,668 were reported in the last 24 hours.

Next : PNG Reports 5 Deaths, 128 New Cases Since Tuesday, 16th March 2021

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