Leave my family out. I will deal with it

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By REBECCA KUKU, SAMUEL BARIASI and ROSELYN ELLISON
THE East New Britain woman tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday has requested people to leave her family out of the “disheartening stigma” and to let her deal with it alone.
The woman, 40, a health volunteer worker with the provincial health authority who had been on the frontline during the Covid-19 awareness, was tested positive on Monday.
She became the second confirmed case in the country since the global pandemic crisis began.
“I am in isolation and working with all to address this,” she said in a message relayed through a friend yesterday.
“I am on medication. I expected the stigma and I can deal with it because I know what HIV/Aids patients (who she often deals with in her work) go through. I am just disappointed in the way my family has been treated.”

James Marape

Prime Minister James Marape also warned people yesterday to stop stigmatising persons tested positive with Covid-19.
He said the woman in Kokopo had been taken care of “and her footprint is being mapped so that appropriate care is provided”.
“It is a genuine cause for concern for us and we will establish her source of contact and the impact of that case on people in Kokopo and East New Britain province,” he said.
“The provincial response team is stepping up the response to contain it from spreading.”
He said the woman was “doing well” and urged people not to be “careless and hurtful to each other”.
Police Minister Bryan Kramer earlier urged people not to create “stigma” by posting the woman’s photos on social media.
Kramer warned that creating stigma, panic and fear would not help the overall fight against Covid-19.
The woman is from the Raluana local level government (LLG) of Kokopo district which has been in a lockdown since Monday afternoon.
She underwent her second test yesterday and is expecting the result today.
“I never went overseas, or travelled domestically. The last time I travelled was in October last year,” she said.
She said she was able to deal with the stigma associated with such ailments as she had been an advocator against it in her work.
“I thank all my family and friends for the love they have shown to me during this time,” she said.
“I wish everyone well and I believe that we can make it out of this, and we will.”
One of her friends described her as cheerful and a woman with a great personality.
The friend supported Marape’s comments and called on authorities to mete out harsh penalties on those who had been harassing the woman’s family.
“She needs all the support. We are Papua New Guineans and we must stand together. The stigmatising must be stopped immediately,” the friend said.

44 comments

  • I don’t think her statement is true,because how can she be infected with the virus,please check all travelling agents for the past travelling history.

  • Lesson from this is to practise good hygiene.
    Practise social distancing. Stay as far away as possible from other people, especially those that don’t live in the same house as you.
    Wash every food that you buy or recieve from someone. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap before you touch your mouth, eye nose etc.
    More important, we continue to pray for God’s protection on everyone in PNG.

  • She is a health volunteer worker who is infected now herself, which she must have been infected while trying to help someone else who was sick with the virus. It could be the same for the other health workers out there. The Government of PNG must mean business with preventing the virus than just talking good on media. I say this as I don’t see any Personal Protective Equipment supplied to all the Hospitals in the country as yet after weeks of the first case of the virus being tested positive in PNG.

    Protect yourself first and prevent the spread of the virus “Health Workers”.

    Thanks

  • I have strong believes that her case is Not Covid-19, our testing kits are not the correct kits for Covid-19 that’s why we/health authorities at ENB are confused. Her second result will be negative and she is Asthmatic patient.

    we will prove correctly when we have the correct testing kits in the country, to-date, I am not seeing any testing kit here in all the Highlands provinces.

  • Agree!! This case, according to the patient statement is a rare case. Two things in reality:
    1. Check the operating limits of the test kit.
    2. If the second or third sample is tested positive, than that means we already had the virus in the country.
    3. Verify results with other accredited laboratories overseas.
    I don’t believe in rapid test kits.

  • I have the feeling that her case is not COVID-19 related. Because she is asthmatic, she got flu on top of that,which makes her become the POI to the COVID-19 team on the ground. The testing kit might not be working well.

    The passengers who travelled with the white bloke are all tested and confirmed negative,so how could she developed the sickness out of the blue?

  • People assume that virus can come from Border but now out of East new Britain. So stop closing border PNG/INDO just open it we have health workers to check Peòple.

    • If she is tested negative, do not confusing the people.

      Let people of PNG do their normal activities and just stop the border crossing strictly…God bless PNG.

  • She is a mother and need to be respected by the public. Stimazing and discriminating of her being in that situation is not acceptable. She was very clear on her stance as she did not travel overseas or to any other provinces. And also if we want to totally confirm her as C19 positive, multiple tests could have done since we dont have proper testing mechines.

  • Can a doctor or a person in authority Come out clear on this POI in Kokopo, The poor woman was unnecessarily stigmatise by our culture and attitudes, Its better revisit the test results or this is miss diagnose from the group that travel to Lae .There must be a sample swapping or misplacing some where in the storage area that resulted in this case, and judging from her statement some thing is wrong and must Correct this!!!!!!!!!
    The people doing this medical test, must be Drs and not any lab technicians, samples can be misplace/swap and wrong results can be disseminated out that will result in this case as we see now., PNG lets be civilise and professional in our reporting system, it makes a difference in the World, we need to address this ASAP .

  • I do agree with a second independent testing using PCR techniques from another recognize laboratory. Sometimes there may be false positive. Do not agree with CONVID 19 IgM or IgG antibody RDT test as initial diagnostic test. Both PCR and IgM and Ig G compliment each other must be used to comfirm a case.

  • I can’t believe or assume that she is positive unless proper test is done to prove that she is infected with the virus. Otherwise, don’t stigmatize her for nothing.

  • she gave her time to love and care for those needing help with health issues as a VOLUNTEER…and yet we are quick to “throw stones”..shame on us……..please have 2nd 3rd test done….if proven, we will still love her..keeping her and her family in our prayers at this time and trusting that it’ll not be COVID-19

    GET WELL SOON

  • Her statement is very very clear. Now it questions me of our testing kids than stigmatizing the poor woman who is a champion in promoting the community health voluntarily.

  • Unless the test was PCR based I would take the result with a grain of salt.
    I have no faith in our laboratory set up particularly in microbiology.
    She should have 2 samples taken and each sent to separate labs, one of which should be the one that returned the positive result for the first COVID-19 case.
    My advice to the lady is she may have a case to sue Nonga Base Hospital if she is proved to be negative.
    A lot of the doctors do not consider the fact results could be falsely positive or negative if the clinical scenario dose not add up.

  • Many health workers have been infected with this virus, so you can not question her where did she get the virus. we all have to understand this word VIRUS, its an invisible organism that cause deceased and you wont know that you have unless your body is weak. so lets all not blaming her where did she got infected but we all must contribute good ideas to help her and the whole province of ENB and try to prevent this virus from spreading to other provinces that we a living.

  • This woman is a front line health worker who risk her life to help others, so she should not be stigmatize at all. Please leave her and her family alone in peace at this very critical time in her life, and let her recover in peace. Let God JEHOVA the almighty be the Judge and not humans.

  • Most of the comments here simply reflect the general ignorance regarding the Corona virus. Don’t take it lightly. If she contracted the virus as a health workers she is like patient 1. That means patient zero is somewhere out there. There is someone who might have the virus but is asymptomatic and spreads it everytime he comes into contact with any person.
    I am writing from Italy. The first Italian detected with the virus has never left Italy. He never meet someone from China or who had been to China. That was beginning of February. Fast forward to April 8 and now Italy is at 120.000 people who got infected and almost 17.000 who are dead. My dear wantoks, if you don’t tackle that virus head on, then we are looking at a disaster.

  • The woman tested positive of Covid-19, hails from my village, Raluana. Seeing all sorts of negative comments and discrimination upon her and also on all the people of East New Britain is so heart breaking.

    In times like this, we need to support one another, rather than discriminating. I believe, that tests were not done properly. Maybe the kits are not up to date. And I strongly recommend that there should be 3 tests, and blood samples should be sent to labs overseas.

    But despite this woman contracting the virus, she is a strong woman. And she will come out of this smiling. Raluana is where the Good News of Jesus Christ first landed. This is a message from God to the people of Raluana, “Turn back to God.” God’s hands are upon the people of Raluana, East New Britain and Papua New Guinea.

    Let us keep on being the ‘Role Model Province’ in Papua New Guinea. We are not ashamed that we are the first province to have a person contracting the virus. We will walk out of this, and we will show the rest of the nation that God is on our side.

  • The best way to prove the test is dong second test, they had done it, so let’s be patient and wait for the result.

  • there is not clear information as to how she contracted the virus. may be this is a miracle virus flew all the way from china purposely for her. nation needs to be fed with factual information because such incomplete information causing lots of panic and stress in the minds of people and country.

    i am hoping her 2nd test will be negative… if that happens, what can we say about this…

  • This is very clear that the virus is already in our country, maybe the government is hiding some things especially information on the tests their personals on Coronavirus have carried out. The information on every tests done should be revealed to the public, the government alone cannot fight this virus, we as the country can do it if nothing is kept secret at such time…just a thought but if our good government is not hiding something, my apology …

  • How can she be infected with Covid-19 when she did not mentioned she had contacts with any victims.
    She needs to be tested using the right tools or else trace her travel history

  • In this case we need the government to be proactive by bringing adequate testing kits with medical supplies and start doing random test on every citizens to stop the spread of this viral infection, especially in hotspot areas. This is not an imported case like the first case in Lae but a locally grown infection. Early diagnosis and treatment is the only way forward to contain further spread of Covid19 in PNG.

  • You are right bro. God has good thoughts of peace and health for your people and your beautiful land or province. The woman with Covid -19 virus will recover soon. That is our hope and prayer.

  • PNG Lets STOP discrimination and Lets All join our hands in Praying for Her to a Fast Recovery if she is confirmed after multiple test….

  • God bless ENB… I prefer another test to be carried out and this time it should be done overseas…. The poor lady is recovering well so this could be a fake result….

  • If she did not get the virus from the first confirmed victim, then where else did she get the virus from? Oh dear, the virus has been living amongst us. Even she cannot disclose where she got it from. Protecting someone important down your family line now? What about the Bush fire you lit since you got the virus? What would be your explanation to the thousands deaths that will come as a consequence. And what would you explain the the families of these that you infect them with the virus?

  • I don’t think Kokopo has the right instrument/ testing kit to prove that, there’s no information of whether we the best and latest testing kit if so please let us know where we are now.

  • Agreed. Independent Observer. She may be a local transmission. I hope for more test on her workmates as well as her associates. This virus is not a “straight on Death Line” our body has immunity system that fight against it. If she has a strong body immune system, she can fight it off and live a normal life again. PNG, please let’s live a civilise life and contribute the love and concern for our fellow ones like her in this time. Put yourself in her shoes. I wish her speedy recovery.

  • PNG is the beautiful Christian Nation with beautiful people of various ethnics groups. We must all STOP Discriminating each other. We must stand together as ONE in this very season in Prayer.
    This person with COVID_19 could you or it can be me tested positive. Is that how we as Papua New Guinean are going to help our country men and women by discriminating them?
    Please everyone, hold hands together in this very time and go to our FOREVER LIVING GOD for his protection and guidance in prayer…..

  • The test are PCR with very high sensitivity and WHO accredited and not with kits.There is a well documented pathway to scale up these test for further investigation to Australia. Our system is in place and we can be sure of the result and work with it.What is paramount is to mobilize for preparedness and management of Covid 19 with cases already in the country. We in PNG are known for complacency and so without any positive cases,we would not have moved at all and continued talking.In other words,we have made significant progress with these 2 positive case in-spite of resource limitation as a country.On another note,stigma and discrimination will prevent people with signs and symptoms of Covid-19 to either self isolate or not come forward for testing,thereby continue to spread it in the community without care. Just remember,anyone one of us can get it as it has no boundaries.We health workers are at increase risk and if we will be stigmatized and discriminated then, you can imagine what will happen.So lets be real Melanesians,show good care and empathy for whoever is coming down with this virus,as its not so debilitating and recovery is just as good for those without medical co-morbidity.

  • If this woman was contracted the cronovirus from the expatriate travelled to East New Britain,then find out who was that person and when did he travelled to East New Britain and who were he travelled with.
    It already took number of days from now and I do not believe that it is cronovirus.she would have been already dead and others also would have been affected.please check our machines.Is the machine right machine or machine working properly.Get the right people in to the country to do the test who knows the machine.

  • The test are PCR,we must not undermind our health professionals but wait patiently for the 2nd test result from abroad for confirmation, before making criticism.Is this how we,commend our hard working professionals?

  • From the press i can gather that we are living with Covid 19 in the country. People who are discriminating must stop and think before big mouthing this lady.

    The question one should ask is; why is PNG a developing country with no better health facilities plus poor border secuirity with two confirmed cases compared to the developed countries who have thousands already have contracted this virus?

    Something to think about.

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