Aust medical team to help contain the Covid-19 spike
By Aileen Kwaragu
THE first three Australian medical personnel arrived yesterday to help the nation deal with the spike in the Covid-19 cases, which rose to 114 yesterday, with more help to come if the situation worsens.
Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp said the three included team leader and clinical management expert Dr Mark Little, a primary and emergency care nurse, and an expert clinical adviser.
The three have to go through a seven-day quarantine before they can start their work.
“The team will provide support in areas like case management, emergency management, and epidemiology, testing processes systems and logistics,” Philp said.
“They will consult with experts from the Health Department, the Government and other stakeholders as to the country’s needs.”
The three, part of the seven-member Australian medical assistance team (AustMat), arrived in Port Moresby from Brisbane.
They will not only assist in health needs but also in other areas the PNG Government wants help in.
“If the virus continues to spread in PNG, there is a possibility to recommend a second larger AustMat team which could arrive in a number of weeks,” Philip said.
Meanwhile, three more cases were reported yesterday – one from Kiunga and two in Port Moresby – taking the national total to 114. This is made up 104 in Port Moresby, four in Western, three in Lae, two in East New Britain and one in Eastern Highlands. There are now two deaths, 62 active cases and 50 released from isolation.
National Pandemic Response Controller David Manning said 16 of the cases were health workers such as laboratory scientists, doctors, ward clerks and medical students.
“The rest include public servants, students and patients at the Port Moresby General Hospital.”
Manning also issued 11 new orders yesterday, including the closure of the Boroko market, and the closure of bottle shops on Friday and Saturday. The 14-day shutdown in Port Moresby is expected to end next week.
“There is community transmission in the National Capital District and we all have to support efforts to contain the spread of the virus in the city,” he said.
He said more testing sites had been set up in Port Moresby “to control the spread of the virus in the city”.