WESTERN Province has seen 14 deaths in the past two weeks due to COVID-19, including one being reported this morning.
Deputy Controller for the National Pandemic Response Dr Daoni Esorom, while addressing a virtual media conference this afternoon, said it is believed these are due to delta variant because of the behavior of delta variant.
He said there is also a big surge going on in Western and West Sepik provinces. Positive COVID-19 samples from both provinces have been sent down to Australia for genome sequencing to determine whether these are delta variant cases.
Also, of the 30 delta variant cases confirmed in the country so far, 22 have been reported from Western Province.
Dr Daoni said tests have shown that the 22 delta variant cases confirmed last month in WP, seven (imported) in National Capital District and one locally-acquired case in Madang are linked to the type of delta variant cases being seen in Indonesia.
He said this is a result of people not listening and crossing the border.
Dr Daoni said compliance is a big issue in this country and urged that people listen and follow advice being given to protect them from COVID-19. These includes following Niupela Pasin.
He said gatherings must be limited and says if the Provincial Health Authorities and provincial administrations do not advise against gatherings, including cultural shows in provinces they will be held accountable for the high surges of delta variant that is already spreading in the country. Apart from WSP and Western, there are also three other provinces experiencing high surges which are NCD, Eastern Highlands and Manus.
Dr Daoni said experience in other countries have shown that delta variant is perculiar because it spreads fast and affects both old and young which is already being seen in the country.
“If people don’t listen, we will have old and young people dying from COVID-19,’’ he said. “We can do so much, but compliance is a big issue in this country.”
Yesterday’s virtual media conference, addressed by both Dr Daoni and Incident Manager for National Control Centre Dr Melinda Susapu also covered high hesitancy against COVID-19 vaccines and other related issues.
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