By MIRIAM ZARRIGA
PANDEMIC Response Controller David Manning says that the Coronavirus (Covid-19) National Control Centre (NCC) did not order the 800 vials of the propofol drug.
Manning said it was not the Covid-19 funding which purchased the drug.
He was responding to questions raised by The National that NCC had ordered the vials after it was mentioned in Parliament by Abau MP Sir Puka Temu on Wednesday.
However, Manning said NCC had never ordered any vials and was not in the position to do so.
“NCC does not order any other drugs than what it is mandated to do and that is to bring in the Covid-19 vaccines.”
The National understands that propofol was ordered on Sept 3, 2020, and packed for shipment on June 14, 2021.
He said an organisation had purchased the drug for a department to receive the drug and that it was a direct contract between the organisation and the department.
In Parliament, Sir Puka expressed his concern over a lack of urgency in investigating how 800 vials of propofal (allegedly) ordered by the NCC and stored at the area medical store was directly delivered to the Port Moresby General Hospital.
Minister for Health Jelta Wong confirmed that a coronial inquest was now underway.
“The coronial inquest has now begun, and the coroner will authorise the necessary post-mortem in the coming days. There was an unfortunate delay due to discussions with the family (of the deceased) regarding the necessary process,” he said.
“These issues have now been resolved, and the inquest has begun. In conjunction with this inquest, I have sanctioned terms of reference and tasked the National Department of Health, to perform an independent investigation of the deaths and audit Port Moresby General Hospital,” Wong said.
“This investigation will review many aspects of the hospital including, other recent similar deaths, clinical governance, and review of the pharmacopeia of propofol.
“Once the investigation has been completed, I will report on the outcomes of the investigation.
“It is critical that the investigation is not hampered by outside influence.”
By MIRIAM ZARRIGA