Doctor on remote, Covid-ravaged island dies of virus

·2-min read

A doctor on the remote island of Daru in Papua New Guinea's Western Province has died of Covid, following two patients who died of the virus in the last fortnight.

The doctor, who worked at Daru Hospital, was taken to Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby, but sadly passed away. 

The deputy controller of the pandemic response, Dr Daoni Esorom, warned the population not to be complacent with Covid protocols. 

This photo taken on March 30, 2021 shows Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister James Marape receiving a dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in Port Moresby, as Papua New Guinea's health minister on April 1 called disinformation spread on Facebook the
Daru is experiencing an outbreak of Covid. Source: Getty

“Daru Hospital has lost three people to Covid-19 in less than two weeks,’’ Dr Daoni said, saying it's affecting all ages.

“[The] Delta variant is also spreading in Western Province so unless it is proven otherwise, we can say that this is due to Delta variant because the virus spreads fast and is deadlier for those with comorbidities and the elderly.’’

PNG residents urged to stay vigilant with health protocols

Dr Daoni continued, urging people to wash their hands, cover their mouth with their elbow when they cough, avoid crowds and physical distance in public places.

“When you protect yourself from diseases like Covid-19 by following the health measures such as hand wash, you are not only looking yourselves and loved ones but also protecting the people who would look after you if you ended up in a health facility — the health workers,’’ he said.

Dr Daoni said that according to statistics, nine per cent of Covid cases in the country have been heath professionals.

Daru is the capital of the Western Province of Papua New Guinea. Source: Google Maps
Daru is the capital of the Western Province of Papua New Guinea. Source: Google Maps

The Daru hospital is still open, with the hospital's patient flow rearranged in case there's a surge of cases and admissions.

According to the Chief Executive officer of Daru Hospital Dr Niko Wuatai, Daru Island is experiencing a third wave of the pandemic with the hospital reporting 89 positive cases over a period of two weeks.

Of the positive cases, seven have been admitted in the hospital and three of them remain in hospital.

He said they have requested a clinical team from Port Moresby to be sent to Daru to help with the outbreak.

“We are monitoring the situation on the island very closely given the Independence celebration and the large number of people currently on the island,’’ he said end of last week.

Papua New Guinea has recorded 212 deaths since the outbreak began. 

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