By MIRIAM ZARRIGA
THE country is now grappling with a surge in the deadly Coronavirus (Covid-19) Delta variant, with cases tripling from 30 on Sept 1, to 97 on Sunday.
National Pandemic Response Deputy Controller Dr Daoni Esorom said the Covid-19 death toll had also risen to 227, including 17 deaths last week (Sept 20 to 26).
The 30 new Delta cases were reported in the National Capital District (NCD), West Sepik, Central, Morobe, Hela and Milne Bay.
“As of Monday, 67 new cases of the Delta variant have been reported.
“NCD has 23 cases of the Delta variant, with West Sepik 35, Central 4, Morobe 2, Hela one and Milne Bay 2,” Esorom said.
“Data shows that there has been ongoing transmission from August to the early weeks of September.”
On Aug 17, there was one Delta case in Central which was imported from the Philippines.
“Central also began detecting Delta cases on first and second weeks of September.
“Morobe and Milne Bay began detecting cases in the first week of September.
“NCD is experiencing a Delta surge beginning in late August into September,” Dr Esorom said.
The hotspots for the Delta variant are Alotau, Lae, NCD, Vanimo, Kairuku, Exxon plant site and Oil Search Moro.
The age groups affected is those from age 31 to 40, followed by those over 50, 41 to 50, and 19 to 30.
The data suggests an in-country Delta transmission.
Dr Esorom said 18,381 people had recovered.
“We have a very good recovery rate – around 98 per cent,” he said.
During a 24-hour period on Monday, 118 new cases were reported.
He said surges had been recorded in Western, West Sepik and Eastern Highlands, with Morobe, Western Highlands, NCD and Enga also reporting a hike in cases.
“So the situation is very fluid,” Esorom said.
“It can change within days.
“That’s what we are seeing at the moment.”
West Sepik recorded 635 cases and eight deaths, with 584 recovered and 45 in isolation.
Western on Monday diagnosed 15 new cases but no deaths.
“Western since the beginning of the outbreak recorded 3,138 cases and 20 deaths. Around 2,800 people have recovered,” he said.
Eastern Highlands recorded 43 new cases over the 24-hour period on Monday.
By MIRIAM ZARRIGA