Covid-19 cases climb to 114 in PNG as health worker cluster grows

10:24 am on 5 August 2020

Three more people in Papua New Guinea have tested positive for Covid-19, taking the number of cases there to 114.

Port Moresby General Hospital

Port Moresby General Hospital Photo: POM General Hospital

One of the infections is in Kiunga and the other two are in the National Capital District.

The Kiunga case is the fourth from the Western Province but the other three were back in mid-April.

Contact tracing is continuing but in the meantime the trio have been moved into respective isolation units for monitoring.

Controller of the National Pandemic Response, David Manning, underlines there is community transmission in the NCD but says the government is making efforts to contain the spread.

"We have seen very close friends and contacts tested positive for the virus.

"This indicates that community engagement and education is critical and is being scaled up to educate the communities," Manning said.

He confirmed clusters within the Port Moresby General Hospital and the Central Public Health Laboratory "as a result of our advocates not adhering to the standard infection control practices and not wearing the correct personal protective equipment for the right type of job in these health facilities."

To date there have been 114 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 2 deaths, 40 released from isolation, and 62 active cases.

Of those cases, 16 are health workers.

Meanwhile PNG's Prime Minister James Marape is to hold a virtual leaders summit with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison today with the Covid-19 pandemic expected to be at the forefront of the issues discussed.

Mr Marape's talks with Scott Morrison are expected to cover a range of issues, including the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

PNG's police commissioner David Manning (left) and prime minister James Marape

PNG's police commissioner David Manning (left) and prime minister James Marape Photo: PNG PM Media Unit