Eleventh covid case in PNG, army barracks

10:53 am on 26 June 2020

Restrictions could be introduced in the Papua New Guinea capital after tests revealed the country's 11th case of Covid-19 in Port Moresby.

Acting Health Secretary, Paison Dakulala (Post Courier)

Acting Health Secretary, Paison Dakulala (Post Courier) Photo: Post Courier

The person is a close contact of case number 10, a member of the PNG Defence Force who works at the the Murray Barracks.

Case 10 was detected earlier this week during mass testing of staff at the barracks where PNG's 9th case was recorded last week in a visiting Australian soldier.

The latest case, a 26-year-old female, is being monitored by health workers while in isolation at the Rita Flynn sports centre which has been converted into a covid-19 response facility.

PNG's national pandemic response controller, and police commissioner, David Manning said the woman is doing well.

He said that with two cases detected in Port Moresby in the past 48 hours he would soon make a decision on whether further public restrictions are necessary in the city.

A State of Emergency that was declared in March in response to the pandemic ended earlier this month, but the Covid-19 National Operations Centre continues to function.

Before last week's case, it had been almost two months since PNG had registered a confirmed case.

PNG's health secretary and deputy controller, Paison Dakulala, said the new cluster of cases served as an important reminder to the country.

"People will not know that they have covid-19, and may move around town feeling unwell and most importantly being in an infectious state," Dr Dakulala said.

"This drives home the importance of staying home when you have flu-like symptoms, coughs, body aches and fever."

Earlier, following confirmation of the tenth case, Mr Manning said it was evidence of local transmission of the coronavirus, with a very high risk that more cases would be identified in the coming days.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs