Experts arrive to aid PNG

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Aust medical team to help contain the Covid-19 spike
Aust High Comm Jon Philp

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”.


  • On behalf of the odinary citizens of PNG I would like to thank the Aussie Government to step in to assist in the COVID 19 pandemic which is on the move as we speak.

  • Thanks always for Australian support. Government please consult other European nations which are hard hit like Italy and France for their expert advice. They will help also. Others thanks to Australia for their continuous support services despite boomerang style someone is talking about.

  • Can the public be informed of how those people got infected, was it from a common place or has the virus been spread to every corner with noone having any idea how?

  • Come on PNGean let’s be informed citizens. Do you know how such arrangements are made to benefit those in power and also how Australians get benefits from such? There is no need to thank Australia at all. They are extending their sphere of influence and Government are always puppets in making us looking cheap. Australian international image has been jeopardized by the cocaine drug lords so want to carpet that. That’s how international politics works.

    • Keep your politics for the right time and place. We are in a crisis and need every help on offer.
      When you start talking about wrong things at the wrong time, reflects your childishness and imaturity.

  • It’s great bringing experts from overseas to come assist in the fight against this deadly virus, but on the other hand, it implies that government is under estimating the capability of our own professional Doctor’s. Our national Doctor’s have the expertise, but its just that they don’t have the right equipments to combat this virus. If the government provide the right equipments throughout all hospital’s in the nation, I am sure our Doctor’s and nurse’s will utilize their skills and expertise to prevent the spread of this demonic virus.

  • We want to know what test is being used and how it is being used. This is because we know there are many tests with variable accuracies. The manufacturers sensitivity and specificity specifications are not true when used in the field. This has been confirmed here in England. The tests when refined havenshown slot of false positives.

    PNG being in lockdown and then sudden bursts of positive tests in POM with few scattered positivity in rural areas does not seem to follow any patterns.

    Am quiet interested and raised an opinion paper to PNG medical Journal and to National Doctors What’s up and on facebook page with no traction.

    I wish PNG well in this trying time

  • We have seen what this virus have done to many very powerful countries in the world. Look around USA, UK, Germany, Russia for that matter are in a stressful situation. I agree we need all the help we can thanks Australia for always supporting us. It doesn’t matter whether its Australia, China, USA, Japan or some one sent from Mars or Pluto we need help. We cannot survive the destruction this virus can cause. Its new, deadly, unseen and whether its genetically engineered, sent by GOD or from hell itself its here and we have to face it. So Charles Darwins Survival of Fittest theory is appears to be real. If our immune system is not that strong then we are likely not to compete we might not finish the race. Treating our bodies with drugs, smoking, alcohol, too much partying, more of processed food, too much fat and not enough exercise, staying up till 3am in the morning and too much sex and things like that I think our immune system is in a bad shape. It is also a wake up call. Let the experts do what they do best the rest of us hope and pray and may take all the precautions. A friend or neighbours help is what we need now. Thanks Australia again

    • Jessy agree with your points, A friend in need in friend indeed… Thanks Aussie for your continuous support… Papua New Guineans coronavirus is real take all the precautions… By now we all should practice new normal… God will protect PNG so keep on praying…. and have more faith that God will stop the spread… I Love my Country please God have mercy on us…

  • Why the virus increase so quickly this month is because of the weather change in the country.. I think this month has more cold than the previous months that’s why the virus has spread so fast than compare before. Just a thought. Can someone advise on this please..

  • Thanks Aussies. Bring testing closer to home because that is what we lack. The virus is spreading like wild fire. We need more random tests and should be testing up to 5000 people a day to identify clusters, enforce restrictions and flatten the infection curve.. Without data we are unable to make any logical decisions.

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