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COVID-19 cases in PNG surge, 82 new cases report- PNG Total at 2,351

Eighty-two new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases were reported on Monday March 15, raising the national total confirmed cases to 2,351.

Of the 82 cases, the majority, 51, came from the National Capital District. The rest came from Chimbu – 13; Enga – 9; Hela – 2 and Morobe– 6.

The total confirmed cases in the 19 provinces that have so far reported cases are now as follows:

·        NCD – 1,107;

·        Western – 324;

·        West Sepik – 206;

·        West New Britain – 197;

·        Morobe – 100;

·        Eastern Highlands – 77;

·        East New Britain – 52;

·        Autonomous Region of Bougainville – 48;

·        Madang – 44;

·        Western Highlands – 37;

·        Enga – 38;

·        Central – 26;

·        New Ireland – 23;

·        East Sepik – 16;

·        Jiwaka – 17;

·        Milne Bay – 10;

·        Hela – 2;

·        Chimbu – 17; and

·        Southern Highlands – 3.

In addition to the cases reported in the country, there were also three new exported cases, of which two were identified in a hotel quarantine in Australia while one was identified in Singapore.

The Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response and Police Commissioner Mr David Manning said the number of cases being reported in the country are high which reflects high community transmission happening in the country.

In response to the high number of cases being reported in the country, Prime Minister James Marape has announced in a media conference on Sunday that PNG will be going into nationwide isolation. This means that people will be restricted from moving from place to place unnecessarily. Details of the isolation strategy will be announced later in the week.

Meanwhile, the global statistics show that there are now 119,220,681confirmed COVID-19 cases reported so far, of which 461,105 were reported in the last 24 hours up to Monday March 15.

There were also 8,419 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, increasing the global death toll to 2,642,826.

Mr Manning has repeated his call for every citizen and resident in the country to adhere to the health measures in place to curb the high surge ofCOVID-19 cases.

“Everyone has a responsibility to look after themselves by following the health measures in the “New Normal” or “Niupela Pasin”. We have a duty to protect ourselves and others as well.

“We have all shown during the national mourning period for our founding father the late Grand Chief Sir Michael that we are a proud and passionate people and if so, let us also extend that passion to protect our people and country by helping ensure the virus does not continue to spread.

“PNG was relatively quiet last year with its low number of cases being reported, but today it has bypassed countries like Australia by reporting the highest number of confirmed cases in the last 24 hours. This is because residents and citizens in Australia listened and are following the health measures we are consistently talking about, whilst we on the other hand are ignoring them,” Mr Manning said.

The health measures in the “Niupela Pasin” include wearing of face masks in public, shops, markets and enclosed spaces; washing of hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds; covering of cough or coughing into elbows; avoiding crowds where the likelihood of catching the infection is high; physical distancing by 1.5 to 2m to avoid any droplets from someone talking, sneezing and coughing falling onto your face, mouth and nose; and cleaning your work places or work benches and tables, door knobs and personal items such as laptops and phones.

Meanwhile Mr Manning has called upon educated elites of PNG to stop spreading misinformation to the people. He said COVID-19 is real and is in PNG. The sooner the educated elites understand and accept this and do their part in educating the people the better it will be for PNG’s efforts to mitigate, contain and stop the spread of COVID-19.82 new COVID-19 cases reported on Monday March 15 –PNG total at 2,351

Next : PM Marape: PNG to go into nationwide isolation as COVID-19 spikes

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