Healthcare. Papua New Guinea press review

PNG Defence Force Murray Barracks headquarters was sprayed and sanitised. According to Chief-of-Staff Captain Philip Polewara, the organisation was following all required health protocols as well as the 14-day restriction. This followed the announcement last week of 11th positive case, a 26-year-old woman who lives in Port Moresby and was a close contact of the 10th case in the country, who worked at Murray Barracks. Defence Minister of Papua New Guinea Saki Soloma said that the PNGDF has put in place measures to reduce the possible further spread of the virus. PNG Defence Force soldiers are undergoing mass testing for COVID-19 while there is controlled access into Murray Barracks to reduce further possible spread of the coronavirus. [1]

However, Jelta Wong has brushed aside rumors on Social Media claiming that the National Capital District (NCD) was transiting into another period of lockdown. Rumours were provoked after the city reported new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases. This now brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 11. Mr. Wong says there will be no lockdown as claimed, and hinted that the new restrictions will be more relaxed with much focused to be on the containment area. PNG Health and HIV/AIDS Minister says that the rapid response team will also be going around doing random testing on all supermarkets just to analyze and see if they have a collective permitted transmission of COVID-19. Meanwhile, contract tracing is underway in NCD on everyone who came into contact with the three positive COVID-19 cases, for isolating and testing. [2]

Health Authorities in Morobe Province are advising the people to remain alert and observe COVID-19 protocols and health safety measures as the pandemic may still exist in the country. The provincial health authority said that Indonesia, which had a high rate of Covid-19 cases, shared land and sea borders with Papua New Guinea. Papua province in Indonesia is currently reporting COVID-19 cases in areas close to the border with West Sepik and Western Province. As of June 27, Papua Province (Indonesia) reported 1,633 confirmed COVID-19 cases and seven deaths.

Health Authorities in Morobe Province warned Morobe people who developed symptoms of the Covid-19 to call the hotline 1800 200 or visit the Morobe district hospitals and health centres.

The latest orders from the National Pandemic Controller David Manning require:
• Any sporting activities must be approved by the controller through the PNG Sports Foundation;
• Religious activities to observe social distancing and hygiene standards. Provincial and national church gatherings remain banned.
• Licensed gambling venues, nightclubs and horse racing at listed venues must operate on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The Morobe health authority said the rapid response and surveillance team was continuing to monitor the situation in the province and when necessary facilitate sample testing. [3]

However, in response to COVID-19, the first permanent isolation centre in East New Britain Province (ENB) was officially opened. The opening of the isolation centre in Kokopo was witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney-General Davis Steven, Health Minister and Gazelle MP Jelta Wong, Rabaul MP Dr Allan Marat, ENB Governor Nakikus Konga, provincial administrator Wilson Matava and senior statesmen Sir Sinai Brown and Sir Ronald Tovue. The permanent isolation centre includes 36 rooms centre and costs K1.8 million. It was funded by the ENB government. [4] [1] https://postcourier.com.pg/pngdf-base-sanitised/
[2] https://kalangfm.com/news/minister-brush-aside-rumors-on-lock-down-in-ncd-783
[3] https://www.thenational.com.pg/observe-covid-19-rules-morobe-people-told/
[4] https://www.thenational.com.pg/enb-opens-first-permanent-covid-19-isolation-centre/
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