News Alerts

Government confirms lockdown to be lifted in Port Moresby on August 12

Category: Health and Medical

Severity: 2 (Low)

Source: Drum Cussac

08/11/2020 (Papua New Guinea) - Prime Minister James Marape has announced that lockdown measures in Port Moresby, implemented amid a surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases at the end of July, will be lifted on Wednesday, August 12. All restrictions introduced during the two-week lockdown, including the closure of schools and all non-essential businesses, the suspension of some public transport, and a 22:00 to 05:00 (local time) curfew across the National Capital District, are due to be lifted on Wednesday.
The move comes despite a continued surge in COVID-19 cases in Papua New Guinea, with the number of confirmed cases in the country more than trebling in the last two weeks. Whilst cases were initially concentrated in Port Moresby, the virus has since spread to at least nine provinces over the last week. However, Marape has stated that the country needs to adapt to the virus, rather than implementing restrictions that have a severe impact on its fragile resource-focused economy.
Social distancing and hygiene measures, including the compulsory use of face masks in public places and a ban on gatherings of more than 15 people, are likely to remain in force in Port Moresby.
As of Tuesday, August 11, health authorities have confirmed 214 COVID-19 cases and three associated deaths in Papua New Guinea. However, testing capabilities within the country remain severely limited and the actual number of infections is likely to be significantly higher. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
Context
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed. Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
* Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
* When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
* If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

Copyright © 2020 Drum Cussac

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