Envoy urges people to get swab testing


PEOPLE down with Covid-19 symptoms should go for swab tests to enable the health authority to have accurate assessment of the status of infections in the country, US Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Erin Mckee says.
“PNG has recorded more than 17,000 cases and 114 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, but the Government has only tested 131,712 citizens which is only one per cent of the estimated population of nine million,” she said.
Mckee said this at the handover of more than 5,000 GeneXpert cartridges donated by the US to increase Covid-19 testing in the National Capital District.
She said, in addition to vaccination, there was a need for testing and the donation was in response to a direct request from the public health authority.
“Despite low testing rates, epidemiological monitoring based on available surveillance data indicates that widespread community transmission is likely occurring across PNG,” she said.
“All Papua New Guineans are encouraged to get the vaccine to protect yourself, your family and your wantok.
“We will continue to support the Health Depatment’s deployment efforts across the country to address vaccine hesitancy, increase demand and ensure no dose of this critical vaccine is wasted.
“Give the virus no way to go in PNG and everywhere by getting the vaccine.”
Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Jelta Wong thanked the US government for the support.