The WHO is extremely concerned about the rise in virus numbers in Papua New Guinea. Coronavirus Epidemic News

Epidemic patients have limited the country’s health system, hospitals have evacuated patients due to lack of medical personnel.

The WHO has expressed concern over the “sharp increase” in the Covid-19 case in Papua New Guinea, saying the outbreak was at a critical stage and could lead to a larger epidemic.

At a virtual news conference on Friday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhnom said on Friday that although the number was relatively low in PNG, there was an outbreak.

“Growth is intense, and the WHO is very concerned about the possibility of a much larger epidemic,” Adhnam told the media.

He arrived in the country earlier this week with 132,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from the Kovacs project, increasing the dosage already sent by Australia to 6,000, with more needed to be sent to more Pacific countries, he said.

“Papa New Guinea is the perfect example of why vaccine equity is so important.”

By 2020, only 900 cases have been recorded in the more than eight million poor countries, but on Thursday, the total number rose to more than 9,300, with 623 people killed.

However, there are concerns that the actual scale of the outbreak is much larger due to the lower test rate

Papua New Guinea’s Health Minister Zelta Wang says the number of health workers infected with the virus is steadily rising.

Vaccination efforts have so far employed 1,600 people, focusing on front-line workers in Port Moresby’s capital.

Australian officials arrived at Port Moresby International Airport last March with about 8,000 boxes of the initial dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. [File: Andrew Kutan/AFP]

Wang said the latest batch will begin a nationwide rollout in May.

“A total of 588,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be delivered to Papua New Guinea; We hope to receive all this by June. ”

The outbreak has pushed the country’s health system to its limits, with hospitals evacuating patients due to a lack of medical staff and the establishment of a temporary field hospital in a sports stadium.

In response to expert teams from Australia, the United States and Germany are now working in the country to help prevent this spread.

Wang again identified the vaccine disinformation as a major threat to the rollout, but said he was inspired by the fact that more people in the province were coming forward to vaccinate in recent times.

“It’s not going to be easy but we have to work to ensure it’s safe Papua New Guinea.”

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