New COVID-19 Cases In PNG
Officials in Papua New Guinea are urging the public to take health measures more seriously as the country's Covid-19 cases hit 62.
The Covid-19 Response Deputy Controller Paison Dakulala, who is also acting Health Secretary, expressed such urgency while announcing 23 new cases of the coronavirus in the National Capital District this weekend.
"We cannot afford to play around. The cases are being reported every day now, said Dr Dakulala.
All are Papua New Guineans with the exception of an expatriate public servant.
Dr Dakulala said one of the cases is a staff member at the National Department of Health so the headquarters at the Aopi Building was going through a decontamination process and the building will remain closed until Wednesday.
The Deputy Controller also warned authorities were preparing for Port Moresby's isolation facility to reach capacity.
"Rita Flynn has a 72-bed capacity. When we reach the capacity, we may have to consider other possibilities, including home quarantine,'' said Dr Dakulala.
However, he said the majority of the 24 cases currently at Rita Flynn were mild cases.
Dr Dakulala said quarantine and contact tracing measures had been initiated and contacts of positive cases were advised to remain at home for 14 days.
In the last few days the wearing of face masks had been recommended in the capital city, where a cluster had emerged at a local health facility, and restrictions had been placed on numbers of public gatherings to 100.
Social distancing, restricted movement and hand washing measures were being heavily promoted.
As of Saturday, 9,885 people had been tested for Covid-19 since January.
There were 535 tests pending results - 300 at a laboratory in Brisbane and the remainder in Singapore.