A WOMAN in Eastern Highlands has been tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the eighth confirmed case so far in the country.
State of Emergency Controller David Manning said the 45-year-old woman was admitted at the Asaro Health Centre on April 12 after developing a fever and complained of body aches and shortness of breath.
On April 17, her samples were collected and sent to the PNG Institute of Medical Research in Goroka. Her test result which came back on Tuesday showed that she was positive.
“For quality assurance and best practice, we are doing a second test for this patient,” Manning said.
“This is also being done for the seven positive cases that we have tested already.”
The Asaro Health Centre is currently locked down for disinfection. Staff have been advised to home-quarantine themselves. They will be kept under surveillance.”
He said the provincial health authority would be looking after the Asaro health centre staff during its lockdown.
“The management is also working with the police to manage any potential social issue arising from this case,” Manning said.
Manning reiterated the orders he made on Tuesday that:
- Universities and tertiary education resume Monday, April 27;
- Primary and secondary schools to resume on May 4. All Covid-19 health protocols must to be strictly observed;
- Public transport remain banned except for taxis which should carry a maximum of three passengers at any one time. They will cease to operate during the curfew hours from 9pm to 6am in Port Moresby;
- Domestic flights are to resume but only to provinces where there are no confirmed cases of Covid-19;
- All ships may berth and unload cargoes only. No passenger is allowed to disembark and no one is allowed to board. At all times personal protection equipment must be worn by crew members and port workers.
Manning said he was also thinking about the plight of the thousands of workers laid off five weeks ago.
He is having talks with the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations, workers’ unions, employers and the Government to find a solution.
He also reiterated his warning to police officers not to harass or mistreat members of the public during the lockdown and curfew.
“My warning still stands. I will come down hard on any member of the constabulary who abuses citizens during the state of emergency,” he said.
He urged people to call the Police Internal Affairs hotline 3202634 to report any misconduct or abusive behaviour by police officers.