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PNG Reports 242 COVID-19 cases, on Saturday 20 March – PNG total up to 3,359


A total of 242 new cases on were reported on Saturday March 20, bringing the national total confirmed cases to 3359.

The death toll remained at 36.

The new cases came from eight provinces with the National Capital District recording the highest number of cases with 112. The others are Western – 88; Morobe – 7; Western Highlands – 2; East New Britain – 16; Madang – 9, New Ireland Province – 3; and Southern Highlands -5.

The cumulative figures for all the 19 provinces reporting the confirmed cases are now as follows:

• NCD – 1597;

• Western – 414;

• West Sepik – 328;

• West New Britain – 196;

• Morobe – 132;

• Autonomous Region of Bougainville – 59;

• Eastern Highlands – 154;

• Madang – 57;

• East New Britain – 84;

• Western Highlands – 100;

• Enga – 49;

• New Ireland – 38;

• Central – 26;

• East Sepik – 29;

• Jiwaka – 20;

• Hela – 19;

• Chimbu – 31;

• Southern Highlands – 16; and

• Milne Bay – 10.

Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response and Police Commissioner Mr David Manning said many cases are asymptomatic which means that they do not show any symptoms of COVID-19 at the time of going for test.

Mr Manning said, “Those who are in this category may think that they are not contagious which is wrong. Both the symptomatic and asymptomatic patients are contagious and must be isolated from others to ensure this virus does not continue to spread.

“In PNG, it is difficult to isolate at home because we live with many people in one home or building, sharing amenities and therefore isolation at home is not encouraged.’ Every province should by now have an isolation facility where people testing positive are to be kept until they are cleared by being tested again to ensure they are negative. This is for the good of everyone. We cannot have people who have tested positive to be living among others as they are likely to pass the virus to them.’’

Meanwhile, the high number of cases in the National Capital District is putting a lot of strain on the health system. Many health workers have tested positive and have to be isolated. At the Port Moresby General Hospital, there is under construction a new COVID-19 centre which will focus on this pandemic, while the hospital will cater for other diseases and health problems. This is being supported by the Australian Government, St John Ambulance, World Health Organisation, UNICEF and other partners in the delivery of health services.

Globally, Mr Manning said the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 has reached 123,005,025, of which 535,860 were newly reported in the last 24 hours. The deaths recorded since the outbreak stands at 2,715,392, of which 9,868 were reported in the last 24 hours.

Next : PNG to get first delivery of COVID-19 Vaccines & Specialists from Australia this week

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