Worries for PNG health workers as covid numbers climb

12:47 pm on 29 May 2021
PNG Pandemic Response Controller, David Manning

PNG Pandemic Response Controller, David Manning Photo: EMTV

The man heading Papua New Guinea's response to Covid-19 is urging health workers to get vacccinated.

This comes after the Pandemic Controller, the Police Commissioner David Manning, had issued the latest figures, showing 28 health workers tested positive on Thursday.

In total there are 225 new cases, taking the PNG tally to 15,772, with the official death toll holding at 162.

1,533 health care workers have caught the virus since the outbreak began nearly three months ago.

Mr Manning said these figures are unacceptable, "the health care workers are central to our national pandemic response and must be protected."

Mr Manning said a significant number of health workers have yet to get vaccinated, while a total of 28,677 essential workers have so far received it.

He said the PNG health system is under stress and the country cannot afford to have its health workers testing positive in large numbers.

Mr Manning also said that "under no circumstances, no health worker must attend to suspected COVID-19 cases without wearing personal protection equipment."

He said they also need to learn to wear PPE properly, to avoid gaps and overlaps that may allow the virus to pass through.