WHO COVID-19 Update (16 April 2021)

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  • United Nations published this video item, entitled “WHO COVID-19 Update (16 April 2021)” – below is their description.

    WHO’s chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that in Papua New Guinea, there is large-scale community transmission in the capital Port Moresby and the Western Province, and all 22 provinces have now reported COVID-19 cases.

    Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (16 Apr), Dr Tedros said, “although in the last two weeks we have seen some decline. Rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine started in late March, with 8,000 doses donated by Australia, and a further 132,000 doses from COVAX arrived this week. The vaccine is being offered first to priority groups, including health workers, to protect the local health system.”

    The WHO’s chief also said, “through WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, or GOARN, 13 experts have been deployed to support the government with case management, epidemiology, infection prevention and control, laboratory support and information management.”

    Tedros continued, “emergency medical teams from Australia, Germany and the United States have also arrived to support the response, with others expected in the coming weeks. WHO is continuing to work closely with the National Department of Health and partners to provide technical advice and support, and to boost local health response capacity. This includes an emphasis on expanding testing.”

    Jelta Wong, Minister of Health of Papua New Guinea also briefed the reporters. He said, “as of 12:00 p.m. on the 15th of April 2021, Papua New Guinea has reported 9,343 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including over 80 deaths. Half of these cases and half of these deaths were reported in the last month alone.”

    Wong also said, “unfortunately, through the end of 2020, we started to feel complacent, where our people start to think because our numbers were so low that COVID-19 wasn’t in our country. So, as everywhere else in the world, when they have Christmas, Papua New Guinea is no different.”

    The Health Minister continued, “a lot of people move out of the city, back to the villages and to the provinces and to meet with theie families. And the lacking of the measures at the time, because we when we opened it back up, we allowed a lot of movement back into the country and it caught us off guard. And within that Christmas, a lot of people were meeting and it sort of blew up in that sense, And within that Christmas, a lot of people were meeting and it it sort of blew up in in that sense.”

    WHO’s Anna Maalsen said, “the situation in Papua New Guinea is critical. We’re seeing infection rates climb and there’s intense transmission of COVID-19 in parts of PNG, putting enormous pressure on hospitals, intensive care units, health workers and communities.”

    She continued, “the increasing number of health care worker infections are a cause for concern, and this will already have an impact on PNG’s small and ageing workforce.”

    WHO’s Dr Takeshi Kasai said, “the pandemic means that every corner of every country in every part of the world must be prepared and protected against COVID-19. And we must continue to pay special attention to the small countries who have so far been able to stop the virus coming in. In remote Pacific countries, even a few cases could have a devastating impact.”

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