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Papua New Guinea’s COVID-19 cases has now surpassed 10,000 prompting calls from the Controller of the National Pandemic Response, Police Commissioner David Manning for citizens to strictly adhere to measures in the New Normal or “Niupela Pasin”.
“Our battle with the surging COVID-19 outbreak is at a critical stage and I urge every citizen to strictly comply with measures in the New Normal,” said Manning.
The call by Manning comes as cases continue to rise mostly through community transmission.
PNG recorded 245 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, increasing the total number of cases to 10,197.
The new cases were reported from 30 districts in 17 of PNG’s 22 provinces.
Meanwhile, preliminary testing for Covid-19 among staff at Papua New Guinea's parliament precinct indicates a quarter of them are infected.
Speaker Job Pomat told MPs in the house he had received a letter from PNG's Pandemic Response Controller "questioning the serious state of the Covid-19 infections" at parliament.
Manning advised compulsory testing for everyone working at parliament.
Pomat said that prior to the letter he had already issued a similar directive.
“I have now issued further directives for compulsory testing to be conducted to both members of staff of parliament and political staff," Pomat explained.
“While testing is still going on to cover the rest of the staff, I have received preliminary results from the 167 cases tested, and inform this honourable house that an alarming 42 cases have turned out positive.”
It is understood the tests were carried out in the past week, and that the vast majority of those who tested positive were staff rather than MPs.
However, as many as seven MPs tested positive to the virus earlier this year.
“Our very serious concern is that the majority of those 42 cases are directly employed with the chamber services who are in direct contact with the whole host of us national leaders, all members,” Pomat explained.
“That in itself is a very serious threat, not only to us as leaders but also to staff of the national parliament,” he said.
The Government’s Covid-19 vaccine target population for the first phase rollout for 103,725 frontline health and security including airport and quarantine workers is out.
The PNG Joint Agency Task Force National Control Centre for Covid- 19 released by the COVAX NTWG has detailed that there are 103,725 frontline workers altogether.
They include health care workers, and support staff in public and private entities, workers at quarantine and isolation facilities, health students (medical, nursing, lab, pharmacy and CHW), prison guards, correction services, border and immigration customs officials, seaport workers, airport, aviation and airline workers, police, defence force personnel and teachers engaged nationwide.
The highest frontline workers are deployed in Enga which has an overall total of 13,860, Morobe with 11,953, Eastern Highlands with 7617, East Sepik and Western Highlands provinces with more than 6000 each, Chimbu and AROB with more than 5000 and NCD, Southern Highlands, Western, Madang, East New Britain, Jiwaka, Northern and New Ireland also in the up and coming category..
SOURCE: PNG GOVT/POST COURIER/RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS
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