By REBECCA KUKU
HEALTH authorities are still trying to contact 97 people who had travelled with the man tested positive for coronavirus early this month, an official says.
The 45-old-man, who started his journey in Spain, arrived in the country on March 14 on a flight from Singapore. There were 77 other passengers and seven crew members on that flight.
He then caught a flight to Lae with 13 other passengers. The number of crew members on that flight has not been confirmed.
In Lae, he caught a bus with 16 people to the mining site where he was working. Fifteen of the 16 have since been tested negative. The 16th is believed to have run away to Chimbu without getting tested.
The positive-case man has since left the country for Australia.
Air Niugini sources said their employees had not been contacted.
Police Minister Bryan Kramer, representing Prime Minister James Marape, said last week the priority was to trace everyone who had come in contact with the man to establish whether Covid-19 had been transmitted.
“The positive case (man) came in on from Singapore on the 5.40am flight,” Kramer said.
“There were 84 people on the flight with him – 77 passengers and seven flight crew members.
“When the (man) arrived in Port Moresby, he walked from the international (arrival area) down to the domestic terminal where he boarded the PX 208 flight to Lae.”
He said there were 13 passengers on that flight.
“Six got off in Lae, six in Hoskins and one in Rabaul,” he said.
He said the man was working for the Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd in Wau, Bulolo.
“When he got off the flight in Lae, he got on a bus to the mining site and was exposed to 16 people.”
He said the people on the two flights resided in 15 provinces.
He did not say how many had been contacted so far.
Yesterday, when The National asked Kramer for an update on the matter, he said any questions should be directed at Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Jelta Wong.
Wong could not be reached for comment yesterday.
He blocked the number of this reporter.