City facing lockdown

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PORT Moresby faces a lockdown in the next few days if the Coronavirus (Covid-19) infection level remains high, and cases continue to surge, warns National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop.
“If the doctors tell me that we have to lock down because they cannot cope any more, then I will follow their advice,” he said.“
At this time we want to focus on strategies that can get us to do what we can to (achieve) the outcome we want, which is to reduce the infection (and) the transmission.
“I prefer that we (continue) the (vaccine) roll-out, get the people to understand the situation facing the city, the health system, (and) to do their part before we consider a lockdown.”
Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) chief executive officer Dr Paki Molumi said the Covid-19 steering committee was discussing what to recommend to Parkop about the lockdown plan.
Deputy chairman of the national health board Dr Mathias Sapuri suggests that a two-week nationwide lockdown right now is the only way to control the Covid-19 surge.
“The virus stops moving when people stop moving,” he said.
Parkop said the people must understand that the Covid-19 situation had reached a “crisis level” as the PMGH, St John Ambulance and the NCD Health Authority were under a lot of pressure, having to care for Covid-19 patients while maintaining normal health care services.
He said if the level of infection was not checked, and the number of cases showed no sign of decreasing “in the next two or three days, there would be no choice but to have a lockdown”.
“It’s not too far away. So it’s really up to our people now,” Parkop said.
“We have to do what we have to do”.
The NCDC spent between K8 million and K9 million during the earlier lockdowns when the first and second waves hit the country to support the enforcement of the public health safety measures, which was hard to do.
Dr Sapuri said Covid-19 measures alone would not stop the surge because people were still ignoring public health safety measures.
“The only way to break the cycle is by imposing a two-week nationwide lockdown,” he said.
“There is already so much pressure on major hospitals around the country. The number of Covid-19 cases is still going up. We are now diagnosing about 345 every day and the deaths are still climbing because of the Delta variant.”