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Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk

Twenty three new covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Papua New Guinea’s National Capital District – the highest reported so far in a day since the outbreak, reports NBC News.

Deputy Pandemic Controller Dr Paison Dakulala announced the new cases in a statement last night following a meeting with Controller David Manning and Prime Minister James Marape.

“These [latest cases today] now brings [the total to] 62 confirmed cases of covid-19 patients in the country, an increase of 49 in just 10 days,” said Dr Dakulala.

READ MORE: Port Moresby emergency ward chaos as medics refuse untested patients

He said there was a lull after eight cases during the state of emergency but after a month of lifting the SoE and allowing businesses, schools and normalcy to return, there are now new increases each day.

“We are seeing community transmission and I am therefore urging everyone to take our health messages very seriously,” Dr Dakulala said.

“You need to take responsibility [for] your health, your family, community and the country by wearing a mask, sanitising your hands or simply stay at home if you have nothing better to do,” said Dr Dakulala.

“The Rita Flynn isolation facility has a 72-bed capacity and when these 23 cases are all moved there, this will leave only 25 beds.”

Addressing issues from rapid rise
The Health Department is working with the NCD Provincial Health Authority to address the isolation and quarantine facilities as well as other issues that need to be addressed in light of the rapid rise of the new cases.

Dr Dakulala has appealed to health workers and every Papua New Guinean to remain calm and continue to ensure this virus does not continue to spread.

The Johns Hopkins University covid-19 global map dashboard yesterday showing PNG’s 39 cases before the latest spike. The global infection cases have now reached more than 16 million with almost 645,000 deaths. Image: PMC screenshot

Meanwhile, the National Control Centre has advised of possible control measures to be implemented this week in Port Moresby.

Controller Manning said domestic travel would be reduced to essential business from Tuesday, July 28.

A curfew will also be imposed in the NCD from 10pm to 5am.

Other measures on public transport and schools may be announced later in the week.

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