By LULU MARK
GOVERNMENT authorities are renewing calls for everyone to get Covid-19 testing as the number of infected people and deaths around the world continue to soar.
National Pandemic Controller David Manning and acting Health secretary Dr Paison Dakulala raised the alarm yesterday as confirmed cases worldwide passed the 13 million mark, with deaths topping 570,000.
Although the country has recorded only 11 confirmed cases so far, Manning said everyone must continue to observe safety measures and heath guidelines.
He said the National Control Centre was pushing for more testing “to get a (true) picture of the Covid-19 status in the country”.
He blamed the reluctance of some people to come forward for testing on “stigmatisation”.
“We just need to educate the people to accept (and understand) that the tests are for their own benefit. It would give them a peace of mind to know whether or not they have or had the Covid-19,” he said.
“We are still pushing for more testing but there’s still more information we need to send to people to alleviate their concerns about testing.”
Manning said the niupla pasin brochures would be distributed soon, containing information on the processes and measures to be observed by individuals, groups, schools and businesses on how to conduct themselves in a Covid-19 environment.
It also provides information on testing to help people.
Dakulala said “a new world record” on the Covid-19 seemed to be set every day.
“Australia is reporting a high number of new cases, and is currently the only country that PNG has direct flights to,” he said.
“Indonesia, the country that shares a land border with PNG, reported 1,681 new cases on Monday, bringing its total confirmed cases to 75,699 and a death toll of 3,606. The 71 deaths reported in Indonesia on one single day on Sunday is very high.
“This is a warning to its neighbouring countries to continue to adhere to the health protocols in place.’
The new hours of operations of the Covid-19 National Control Centre Hotline (1800200) for any emergency is between the hours of 6am to 10pm.
Any medical emergency outside of these hours should be referred to the nearest hospital or ambulance services.
Meanwhile Manning said the Rita Flynn Court isolation and testing centre remained operational, contrary to statements made recently that it had been closed.
He said what they did was to “actually push out our testing capabilities to the suburban clinics”.
“So you won’t see the large mass of people going in there (Rita Flynn) to be tested,” he said.
“We are providing that (testing) city wide rather than at Rita Flynn.”