IMR to get equipment for tests

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THE PNG Institute of Medical Research (IMR) is in the process of getting an equipment to carry out genome sequencing in the country to fasten the turnaround time for test results, an official says.
The institute currently sends all Coronavirus (Covid-19) tests overseas and it takes time to get results back.
Deputy National Pandemic Response Controller Dr Daoni Eserom said the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum would buy the equipment to speed up the turnaround time for test results to assist the country’s response.
“In the next few weeks and months, they should have it up and running,” he said.
“The virus is evolving and technology is changing all the time. So the IMR is trying to identify the best machine that will suit the situation.”
He warned people to protect themselves as the surge in the Covid-19 Delta variant is affecting all provinces.
As of Monday, the total cases was 28,209 – 2,706 of which were diagnosed in the past 14 days including 314 in the past 24 hours.
Dr Esorom said all the highlands provinces plus Morobe, Madang, Western, West and East Sepik, the National Capital District, Central and East New Britain were experiencing “serious surges”.
“Seeing the trend and behaviour of the virus, it is typical of the Delta variant which transmits faster.
“So we are pretty sure the Delta variant is all over the country,” he said.
“The national positivity rate is 13 per cent which is high.
“There has been a significant increase in test positivity since September compared to July and August.”
He lists as “high-risk” the provinces in the Highlands, Madang, Morobe, NCD, Central Northern and Milne Bay.
Those classed “medium-risk” are Western, West Sepik, East Sepik, Manus, West and East New Britain.