Healthcare. Papua New Guinea press review
According to the State of Emergency controller David Manning, there’re «no new» cases that have been detected in Papua New Guinea (PNG) with an anticipated 947 test results pending from laboratories in Brisbane Australia. An expected spike in COVID19 related cases is expected for the month of May. PNG continues to actively monitor and track contacts, including in the border areas of the country. In addition, a team of four sampling volunteers will be going to the West Sepik hinterland to Yapisi, Imonda, and Oksapmin.
While the government is progressing with re-opening entry points for air, land, and sea, there are serious concerns from the border province of West Sepik. According to Community Leader, Elluida Amo, «Preparedness plans for citizens returning to the country via the PNG/Indonesian border at Wutung are in-efficient». The number of arrivals can be about 100 people: «The high number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia means such a large group coming from there will put the entire village at risk. The facility has no running water and electricity so hygiene will be an issue. Food security will be affected if anyone tests positive because the entire village becomes a quarantine zone and locals will be restricted from moving around» said E. Amo, who is also «concerned the release of the prisoners is an additional security threat to the community». Meanwhile, sources from the West Sepik Governor’s office tells that returning citizens will be quarantined at the border facility at Wutung, extra security personnel are on the ground and provincial authorities have sufficient testing kits for the Coronavirus.
More community testing for Covid-19 will be carried out in Papua New Guinea starting this week. According to the State of Emergency Controller David Manning testing would start in the provinces where the country’s eight confirmed cases of the virus were discovered before continuing across the rest of the country: «I urge all people to come forward for a test if they have symptoms. This will help your country and protect your family,» Mr Manning said.
The СOVID-19 State of Emergency Controller has also delegated various powers and responsibilities to provinces, in this case, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARB) and the National Capital District (NCD). The delegated powers and responsibilities have been gazetted and amongst important responsibilities include implementation of directions issued by the controller with respect to prevent СOVID-19 or its outbreak and its impact, movement of persons, regulation of business, and regulation of all modes of transportation. According to Mr Manning this delegation of the controller’s powers to the provinces is an important step towards bringing the country slowly back to normal. D. Manning also urged provincial administrators and the appointed coordinators, the ABG and NCDC, and police personnel in the provinces to carefully read the powers and responsibilities which also states to work closely with health authorities.
In several villages of Sialum (Tewai Siassi District, Morobe Province), Two people have died of an outbreak believed to be influenza. It is reported that 82 people are being infected showing symptoms of flu are from villages of Zankoa, Rebafu, Samep and Gerup. District authorities are also working on plans to provide assistance to the people.