114 Port Moresby Hospital staff test positive as PNG covid crisis worsens

PMGH Port Moresby
Port Moresby General Hospital ... almost half of the staff have tested positive for covid-19. Image: DevPolicy

By Christine Kildi in Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea’s biggest referral hospital in the country, Port Moresby General (PMGH) is seeing a massive increase of covid-19 cases both from its staff and patients.

Chief executive Dr Paki Molumi has confirmed that 114 of the hospital staff have tested positive to covid-19 which is almost the half of the hospital staff.

Dr Molumi said the hospital has allowed those confirmed with covid-19 to be isolated for two weeks and come back for work after their isolation period is over.

“Our staff have undergone full medical examination,” he said.

“Those who have core underline diseases and the older ones have been put in the back, away from the frontline to keep them safe.”

Dr Molumi clarified that most the hospital staff contracted covid-19 from their communities and not from the hospital.

“About 70 percent of them have got the disease from the community which means that there is a wide spread of the disease in our communities.”

He said testing was the only way to determine how far and wide covid-19 is spreading.

“We are picking up more of the cases among our staff because we are doing testing every day.”

Besides the numbers rapidly increasing among the staff at the PMGH, the staff have undergone training to stay mentally prepared and readily be available for a covid-19 situation like this prior to the surge currently experienced.

“The staff who have been confirmed with COVID-19 were isolated for two weeks and they return to work after that.

“This is the good thing about POM GEN staff, they are willing to take on the challenges despite the situation and move forward to serve the population.”

Christine Kildi is a reporter from PNG FM’s PNG Haus Bung.

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